KINSHIP CARERS: WHO ARE WE? We are family or significant others who have stepped up when everyone else stepped away, to care for Australia’s most vulnerable children, those who can no longer live at home.
Unlike Foster Carers we have not chosen to take on a child when our health is at its peak, our finances are stable, and our resources are secure.
We usually (not always) are empty nesters who have raised our family and are looking forward to retirement. However, when a policeman knocks on your door at 2am and says can you have this child (maybe 5mths old) as there is NO where else, we cannot say no. DHHS visit in 3 weeks and say this is short term, they say they can’t support us because it’s a ‘Family Agreement’, never mind the child is from your estranged daughter/son whom you haven’t spoken to for years. Short term can last 18 years. No help, no support and no hope! The Government does not fund informal kinship carers or any resources available to other carers. And so, we put ourselves last, so the children’s needs are met. I personally have 3 sets of clothes, I desperately need a dentist for major work, and I had my first haircut yesterday in 12 months. We do not ask; this is our lot after all. We are grateful for any kindness and only to happy to help others. We are givers not takers but sometimes we need help. This has been a tough year, tougher for some of us than most. Three or more high needs kids (ranging in ages) at home 24/7 has pushed carers to their limit. We cannot access help most of the time, believe us we have tried. If anyone is interested in real life stories please read the comments on our public page. https://www.facebook.com/kinshipcarersaustralia/
The Permanency Support Program (PSP) Team at Woomera Aboriginal Corporation, support safety, wellbeing and positive life outcomes for children and young people in the children protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) systems in NSW. The PSP has three goals: 1. A better care experience by supporting Children and Young People’s individual needs, sense of cultural and personal identity, and advocating for Children, Young People, and their carer/s. 2. Fewer entries into care by promoting family connections. 3. Providing a safe and stable place for Children and Young People to thrive and heal from past trauma. TOTS2TEENS supports the PSP team by providing us with clothing, furniture, and necessary goods to support our children and families in need. The children and families that receive these items are always so grateful for the generosity of our local community that donate these items.
KANDEER SCHOOL- Kandeer School is a School for Specific Purposes which assists students from the Albury Network Area who are at risk of or are disengaged from regular mainstream schooling due to a background of complex trauma or emotional difficulties. Classes range from Years 5 to 10. Students are referred to Kandeer from their home school via the Learning and Wellbeing Team’s Placement Panel Process. Our mission is, “To make a positive difference in the lives of our students by empowering them to make appropriate choices.” The school provides each student with a Personalised Learning Support Plan which incorporates an Individualised Education Plan and Behaviour Support Plan. In conjunction with this we provide high quality and engaging education programs which follow the mainstream NESA curriculum. Our key focus areas for the school are the enhancement of classroom practice, improved student social and behavioural outcomes, the ability to understand and cater for challenging behaviours, and understanding and providing support for students who have experienced trauma. We value a teamwork approach to the students’ education and encourage parent/carer and community involvement in our educational programs. We know that our students learn from hands-on experience and we offer practical skills and the opportunity to participate in community based programs. We aim to successfully transition our students into mainstream settings, TAFE or the workforce. The success of our motto, ‘Learning to Grow,’ is not only determined by our students experiencing success in all aspects of the program, but also from growing personally.
Centre Against Violence (CAV) are a not for profit organisation supporting victim survivors of Family Violence and Sexual Assault, and working with Children who have displayed Sexualised Behaviours and their families. We have offices in Wangaratta and Wodonga with outreach in neighbouring towns within the Ovens and Murray region. Tots2Teens have been one of our biggest supporters providing clothing, shoes, toys and basic toiletry and hygiene items for all, and let’s not forget those amazing Christmas packs! They have sourced cots, prams and car seats on numerous occasions, which has not only helped our clients in need but also helped us with being able to spend money on other things such as accommodation and meals etc. We have had so many clients give such amazing feedback and appreciation when they have received these packs/gifts. It is such a beautiful thing to see faces smile even if just for a brief moment. Organisations such as ours don’t always have staff or time to be able to source these items without the hefty price tags attached. We appreciate Jo and the team and the community for supporting this wonderful charity, for all of the generous donations. They really do help to make the circumstances a little easier for these families. Keep up the great work Tots2Teens!