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July 28th, 2021

Update to CEO Morning Tea ~ Sessions with Carers 

 

Over the past few months FCAV have been hosting virtual meetings with foster carers and foster care staff with our CEO, Samantha Hauge. We have had 3 virtual meetings with carers – our first in February involving 17 foster carers from across Victoria, a second in June of this year involving 19 foster carers and a third in October, to connect and hear their issues and concerns to develop a strong platform from the discussions. 

 

Following these sessions, we have been able to further develop key issues for cares to add to our advocacy platform:

  • Respect to carers.

  • The provision of more funding for wrap around support programs.

  • The need to improve the process with CIMS, particularly the lack of information provided and the lack of support to the carer during this process.

  • Improving time lines and processes within the court system.

  •  COVID-19 vaccination updates.

  • Ensuring all CAG’s are resuming post COVID -19.

 

From these issues we have focused on the following:

 

  • Ensuring Carer Advisory Groups or CAG’s are again operating across the divisions which ensures that carers have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of others and also provides a platform for FCAV to advocate on behalf of carers.

  • CIMS: We informed the group that Communities of Practice has started – Tessa is attending this working group on behalf of FCAV and advocating for an improved process around Client Incident Management System (CIMS).

  • Working Group on Respect: The need to ensure foster carers are valued and recognised for the significant role they play within a system that includes government and agencies and should be working together to support its volunteers. We now have a working group of foster carers starting to develop up a Commitment to be shared across the sector, including agencies and DFFH. 

 

Update to CEO Morning Tea ~ Sessions with Agency staff

 

Agency morning tea on 25 October discussion:

 

  • Introduction to the proposed draft of a Statement of Commitment to Victorian Foster Carers (in development to be published late 2021).

  • Carers have been amazing over the last 2 years - caring through the pandemic and facilitating contact over online platforms, online learning and more.

  • Carers on Hold – when carers go on hold for over 2 years, carers with a wealth of experience need to do basic assessment again. Many do not understand that they’ll be formally de-registered.

    • Some agencies inform carers when they go on hold that after a 2 year lapse they will be required to do the assessment again. They then recontact just prior to the 2 years to re-establish contaact with the carer.

    • Is there a way to avoid the carer needing to do assessment again across all agencies?

     

  • Vaccinations - some carers showing hesitancy to have unvaccinated staff and/or contacts in their homes.

  • New Guidelines for Vaccination of young people in care via DFFH.

  • Quarantine periods - Multiple instances throughout the program of families having to isolate due to COVID exposure, for some households they've needed extra support to self-isolate. Not as well supported as it should be for households who are in such a difficult situation whilst being carers.

 

Feedback from the sessions:

"I would love to attend these sessions ongoing. Thanks Deb for reaching out"

"Appreciating all that you do on behalf of foster carer's, their voices deserve to be heard thank you!"

"Thank you for inviting me to attend. Very interesting."

 

Due to the overwhelming feedback from carers and workers alike, Samantha Hauge CEO will continue hosting these sessions with flagged next dates in February 2022. 

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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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