Congratulations to all the nominees in the 2023 Commitment to Supporting Carer Awards. We received over 40 excellent nominations from carers who had experienced exceptional support to placements from their support team workers.
We recognise that the support offered to carers is golden in a complex system especially in these challenging times. These awards provide foster carers the opportunity to acknowledge the people who have offered committed support and to show how much that support means to them in caring for children and young people.
Congratulations to all agency nominees, your support to carers is so clearly appreciated!
Our selection panel had the difficult task of selecting our 5 finalists and congratulations again to the shortlisted nominees.
Gemma Barton - Key Assets Australia
Tara Dunn - MacKillop Family Services
Jessica Savy - Anglicare Victoria
Tahlia Wilson-Hansen - Meli
The Hon. Lizzie Blandthorn MP joined Samantha Hauge, CEO of FCAV for the honour of announcing the final two winners of the awards and presenting their certificates of award at the Celebration event held in Wadawurrung country - Ballarat as part of Foster Care Week 2023.
Jess works for the Australian Childhood Foundation in partnership with Ozchild in the Circle Program and has been supporting the carer who nominated Jess and the two children in their care through an exceptionally difficult and turbulent 18 month period that saw attempted reunifications and the unexpected arrival of another sibling.
"It was because of Jess, that they could keep the siblings together, with Jess spending countless hours validating and sharing knowledge and working with the family to implement therapeutic strategies to move the children forward.
She supported the entire family, including the biological children.
She always kept the children at the centre of her practice and advocated strongly from the get-go.
The nominator said that his sector doesn’t often get to see the actual outcomes of exceptional work, but we feel it in our home and see it every day in the outcomes for the children. As examples - we have gone from school refusing to school love, we’ve gone from big difficult behaviours in education to supported and held children. We have been able to access NDIS and a whole range of other supports thanks to her knowledge and support in navigating systems.
Jess’s work and support (in a positive partnership with Ozchild) has been pivotal to our two children who are in a stable and thriving placement."
The carer who nominated Jess said that she is an incredible caseworker, who goes above and beyond for not only them as carers but for their foster children as well.
"The level of support Jess provided us ranged for day to day things like school placement, and behaviour management, to helping us reunite two siblings into our home that had previously been separated.
To make this happen Jess helped source funding to fix an outdoor room into an extra bedroom and add a second bathroom so that the siblings could have their own room to help with the reunification.
It was a challenging placement with many challenging needs and Jess supported or sought advice through each element and always helped with travel support, therapy support, school support and respite. She ensured everyone was safe and supported, including the carers biological children.
Jess was an amazing support and advocate for our whole family. She encompasses everything a Case Manager should be and always operated with the highest integrity and professionalism. Jess is truly a remarkable human.”