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Permanency Support Program (Foster Care)

Here are some statistics that will unsettle you.

  • There are currently 45,756 children in out-of-home care in Australia.
  • In NSW alone, there are 17,387 children in the Permanency Support Program’s out-of-home care arrangement.

The CatholicCare Hunter Manning Permanency Support Program offers short, medium and long-term foster care for children who, through no fault of their own, cannot live at home with their birth parents. The goal of the Permanency Support Program is to reach a permanent (for life) living arrangement for a child within two years of them coming into care, with an emphasis on the restoration of the child to birth family. The next preferred pathways are guardianship or kinship, open adoption and then long-term foster care.

 

Types of foster care 

  • Immediate care            (overnight stay)
  • Respite care                (once/twice month)
  • Medium-term care       (three to 18 months – this can include restoration)
  • Longer-term care        (12 months to two years or more – this can include guardianship, open adoption and long-term foster care)

Immediate care

Sometimes homes are urgently needed for children because there are concerns for their immediate safety. These can occur after hours and on weekends. We need carers who are able to provide care for very young children at short notice, and typically only for a short period of time.

Respite care

From time to time, all people need a break from their caring role. Respite care is for short periods of time, for example, weekends or for brief periods during the week.

Medium-term care

Some families need to make changes before it is safe for their children to return to their care. Medium-term foster care is, on average, provided for about three to 18 months. This type of care has a strong focus on reunifying the child with their birth parents or extended family.

Longer-term care

In some situations, children or young people are unable to return to their birth families despite the best efforts of everyone involved to make that happen. Using permanency pathway principles, a “for life” living arrangement needs to be identified within two years of a child coming into care. These living arrangements include moving to kinship/guardianship, open adoption and long-term foster care.

Becoming a foster carer

There are several steps involved in becoming a foster carer with CatholicCare. They are designed to assess your suitability as a carer and to increase your knowledge and skills in caring for children who have been affected by trauma. Any child who has been removed from their birth family will have experienced some level of trauma. Providing care for these children requires a specific set of skills.

Once you and your family have completed the CatholicCare training program, your suitability for becoming a foster carer will be assessed through the Step by Step process.

Ultimately, foster carers are there to support and nurture children and young people, provide them with stability and help them meet their full potential. We welcome foster carers from diverse cultural and ethnic background, religions and genders.

Foster care training

Our main training focus over the next couple of years will be the implementation of the ARC Therapeutic Model. This is the new model and emphasises the importance of our carers understanding attachment, regulation and competency when caring for children and young people who have suffered trauma. We encourage using the FCOTA (Foster Care Online Training Australia) program, which offers convenient and relevant training courses. Ongoing training is provided to carers and is specifically targeted to their needs.

Essential criteria

  • Kindness – can you open your heart and your home to a child in need?
  • Compassion – can you make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child?
  • Healer – can you help a child who has experienced trauma to heal?
  • Resilience – can you stay the distance with a child through the really good and also the really challenging times?
  • Patience – can you stay cool as a cucumber when things heat up?

Information sessions

For more information about becoming a foster carer, we invite you to attend one of our open information sessions. 

To register for one of our information sessions please contact us now on 4944 0711 or please fill out the contact form below 

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