Reconciliation Action Plan update

It is timely during National Reconciliation Week to update on our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). It has been an exciting and dynamic time as the FCAV has continued work on our first RAP. There have been many highlights and achievements over the past 2 years, one of which was the cultural training sessions offered to carers, through Carer KaFE.

The Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, Justin Mohamed came and participated with carers and children in a beautiful session at the McRae Yacht club. There were over eighty carers and children at the event. The cultural training sessions have been an effective mechanism to develop collaborative relationships with ACCOs. We look forward to more of these types of events in the next year. We are also going to offer some webinars.

FCAV staff have completed Cultural Competency Training and attended specific training to gain greater understanding of cultural issues. There has been discussion in team meetings to tease out content from the training and build a greater understanding. One session in particular, was offered to the FCAV by Laura Campbell, who told a very powerful and moving account of her own mother’s family’s forced separation and its impacts across three generations. Her mother was  Gija people from Turkey Creek Warmun  WA - north-east of Perth. Laura's generosity assists us develop reflective practice and greater understanding which in turn leads to us providing a more culturally competent service to the sector.

Following this session we had time with Sue–Anne Hunter, a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum Wurrung woman, to understand the Child Placement Principals and ensure the FCAV staff has a grounded, deep understanding of their cultural significance. As part of the second Reconciliation Action Plan, the FCAV will use The Child Placement Principals to inform practice with Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander children and carers.

Another focus recently has been developing Guiding Principles and we have sought advice from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) in developing these. As we move forward with the second Reconciliation Action Plan we are hoping to develop working agreements with Aboriginal agencies so that we have a consistent and thoughtful approach that ensures our support to best outcomes for children and families in the out of home care sector. Time needs to be made to develop relationships and understand the differences and similarities across agencies as well as practice.

We are looking forward to the launch of our second Reconciliation Action Plan.