03 9416 4292
October 29th, 2020

Professional Development for CISS

The Carer Information and Support Team (CISS) recently had a Team Planning Day in October. Ruth Warber presented information to the team about the role of Principal Practitioner in The Department of Health and Human Services.  She is a Noongar woman from WA and the Principal Practitioner for Aboriginal Children and Families in the Office of Professional Practice at DHHS. Ruby started in DHHS in May 2020, prior to that she worked as a psychologist in the Koori Kids team at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.

The team connected with Ruth and started a conversation in relation to how best to access and utilize Principal Practitioners with Department of Health and Human Services, when dealing with complex matters for foster carers.  

Following her presentation we had Cassie Leatham run a session focusing on Aboriginal Culture.

Cassie Leatham is from the Taungurung people from the Kulin Nation. She is an Indigenous artist, master weaver, traditional dancer, bushtukka woman and educator.

She is extremely passionate about teaching her skills to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students of all ages. Her aim is to give participants the opportunity to learn and understand Aboriginal culture and develop knowledge of both historical and contemporary Aboriginal history.

The team learnt information in relation to Aboriginal Culture through the medium of art. A key message Cassie shared with the team was that dot paining did not originate from Victoria. Instead symbols and fine lines were used. We began learning to make a paint brush with a feather and then she taught the group how to use symbols to represent a story. The team members shared their individual stories, learning about each other through this powerful medium. This was an informative, engaging and restoring session for the team. It was much needed session as staff have managed the complexities of this unique period of time in our lives. Staff were restored to continue the fabulous service they offer foster carers across Victoria.



CISS has been busy in recent months, with many carers requiring support with Client Incident Management System (CIMS) investigations. It is inherently stressful for a carer to have an allegation made against their quality of care. There are significant wait times before carers receive the letter outlining the allegations, if at all. The continued waiting time for the investigation interviews to commence adds to this stress and the system risks losing good carers through this process, even if allegations are unsubstantiated.

The FCAV is reaching out to agencies to have discussions in relation to the investigations and how they can be best conducted in a timely and efficient manner so the system does not loose carers through this challenging process.

Carers are encouraged to contact the CISS service on 9416 4292 and seek support and guidance in relation to these matters.

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The Foster Care Association of Victoria acknowledges the unceded sovereignty of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation on whose land we live and work. We acknowledge the continued connection to Country including lands cultural knowledges and their peoples and pay respect to Elders past and present. We are the united voice and advocate for all foster carers across Victoria and we aim to continually develop our knowledge and act with respect to First Nations sovereignty.
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