03 9416 4292
February 22nd, 2023

The Learning and Development arm of the Carer Support Team at FCAV develops and runs training for foster, kinship, and permanent carers. Training offered includes carer wellbeing retreats with the team having completed training on Mindfulness Self-Compassion with the view to assist carers to avoid compassion fatigue or burn out, highlighting the importance of self -care, and techniques to practise daily to ensure this happens. With a background in Art therapy, we also offer online Art Therapy groups which have provided carers with another avenue of time out and self-care. In addition, the team offers Q&A sessions which explore issues such as access with family, navigating NDIS, CIMS and getting the most from your care team and will often bring in carers with much experience and subject experts for specific topics. We also offer induction training for new carers and produce webinars and podcasts which become available as standing resources for all carers, on our website. We are about to deliver a webinar on cultural and linguistic diversity to give carers an understanding of the different cultural needs of children who come into care, and ensure they are equipped to support them to remain connected and secure in their identity.

A significant part of the program is facilitating cultural learning opportunities for all carers, but particularly First Nations carers and those who care for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people, through partnerships with the local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) who are running foster and kinship care programs across the state. We facilitate cultural connection sessions with ACCOs to host cultural events and excursions for foster, kinship and permanent carers which include a local elder conducting a Welcome to Country, may have a smoking ceremony and play a Yidaki meditation, and provide insight about the importance of the local area, lands, waters, bush tucker and indigenous flora and fauna. Both children and their carers attend for an immersive cultural experience such as game playing with a marngrook ball or completing traditional art and crafts and so on. These events also provide an avenue for carers and the children in their care to connect to each other over a provided lunch.

The Learning and Development arm also runs sessions for carers and their own biological or permanent care children to recognise the important role they play in supporting children coming into their homes. Evidence and feedback have shown this supports children of carers to both gain a better understanding of why children come into care, and that they are recognised for the important role they play in helping children entering their homes feel welcome and part of the family. Research shows that carers own children develop resilience early and make valuable contributions to society.

We have developed “Chats with the CEO” with both agency staff groups and carer groups to facilitate the feedback loop with our membership and other cohorts of carers, and the sector, so that we are all aware of new and increasing issues that carers are facing and can support carers to navigate them.

The Learning and Development program also has a schedule of agency visits and other forums to showcase the work we do within the sector and meet with staff to build relationships, promote our services and hear back from agencies about areas we can assist supporting their carers. We provide a conduit of information to carers at the agency morning teas and CAGs, and other forums to facilitate a full stakeholder loop and provide opportunities in response to lived experiences.

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The Learning and Development arm of the Carer Support Team at FCAV develops and runs training for foster, kinship, and permanent carers. Training offe... Read more...
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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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