Carer Information & Support Service

The Carer Information and Support Service (CISS) operates in addition to the supports and advocacy offered to statutory foster, kinship and permanent carers through their funded care agencies, therefore providing carers with an independent referral and assistance point. 


CISS has four main aims:


  1. Provision of accurate and clear information via consultation - phone, email and in person, training, newsletters and information sheets;
  2. Referrals to appropriate agencies for specialised and targeted support and assistance;
  3. Phone conversations, one on one meetings and (occasional) attendance at meetings for support;
  4. Advocacy with CSOs and Government on themes and serious issues affecting carers, children and young people in home based care.



Our commitment to you


FCAV will not initiate discussions with any agencies or government departments without your expressed consent unless there is an immediate risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons, including a child or young person. All carer information utilised in the compilation of FCAV reports is de-identified to protect the identities of carers.


Contact us


Phone: (03) 9416-4292


Make an online enquiry OR 

Book an appointment for a Carer Support Phone or Skype Video Call!


Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 4:30pm

This service is not available on public holidays.  






Tessa Hughes joined FCAV in March 2016 to become the Coordinator of the Carer information and Support Service. The rewarding role has provided Tessa with direct contact to support foster and kinship carers in Victoria. Previous to this role Tessa has held numerous roles in the government and non-government sectors as well as running a mindfulness business. She is passionate about health and wellbeing and hopes to bring strategies to the sector to empower and resource carers to have better outcomes for themselves and the children they care for.
Tessa works Monday 9am -1pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 9am -3pm and Thursday and Friday 9am - 5pm.








Biba Dickson has been a member of the FCAV CISS team for 7 years, having previously worked in Child Protection. Biba has a strong belief in empowering carers to navigate the foster care system to enable the best possible outcome for the children in their care. She also has a particular interest in the importance of support during the Quality of Care and Independent Investigation processes.

Biba works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am – 3pm.







Betti Gabriel is passionate about raising the profile of cultural diversity, and has taken on the challenge to do so within the Out of Home Care sector since joining the Foster Care Association of Victoria in July 2015. She completed the Cultural Awareness project in June 2016, and moved into the CISS worker role. Previous experience includes 10 years as a counsellor in the perinatal mental health domain, and as a research assistant at La Trobe University on a longitudinal cross linguistic study. She is a mother of two and has a maltese x silky terrier named Millie.

Betti works from Wednesday to Friday 9am – 5pm.







Tonya Bavaro joined FCAV as a member of the CISS team in August last year. She is a mother of three young children. Tonya has extensive experience working therapeutically with children and families impacted by abuse and trauma. She has always been a strong advocate for children in care and is keen to extend her support and advocacy to foster carers, in recognition of the critical role they play in the lives of these children.

Tonya currently works on Mondays 9.30am-4.30pm and Thursdays 9.30am-2.30pm.






Information Sheets


FCAV has developed a number of Information Sheets that may assist you.  Visit Carer Resources on this website for more information.