Further Development of your knowledge and networks:
Caring for children in out of home arrangements can often add extra challenges to day-to-day life.
The fact that you have chosen to use this online resource, could suggest that you would like to be as well prepared as possible, gain a thorough understanding of the (potential) issues/challenges faced with being a carer and most importantly, you have the right skills to make a positive difference to a child’s life.
As a registered carer you would have already undertaken formal training, provided by either government or non-government services in your state or territory. However, by attending additional courses (for carers), you will further develop your insight, knowledge and skill set as a carer.
How can further training help?
If you are a Kinship Carer, undertaking this training can enhance your role.
- Feel more confident in your role
- Gain more knowledge and skills to help care for children and young people with special, particular or cultural needs
- Learn about the importance of self-care
- Enables you to connect with other carers and create a support network
Suggestions for developing learning:
Be open to a variety of learning and development opportunities.
Talking with community, attending events, activities and conferences
Specific foster carer resources
Formal training run by foster and kinship care services
The internet and publications
DVDs, radio, television, newspapers and magazines
Supporting your family
Caring for a child in out-of-home care is a big commitment and one that can affect you and your family. Although it is a positive thing, there can still be some challenges the whole family will face.
What are some strategies to support my family?
- It is important for all of the family to understand the child’s circumstances. Be open to speaking to your children about the way they feel about learning to share your time, that of their siblings, belongings and space. You may involve the care agency caseworker in a discussion about these circumstances.
- Have the care agency speak with the whole family about the child’s circumstances.
- Help your family understand a child’s ‘unusual’ or challenging behaviour.
- Involve your children in carer training (if age appropriate).
- Acknowledge and be appreciative of your children’s contribution to the care of the child.
- Get the family involved in establishing new regular routine. Keep a calendar of the family routine and events up on the fridge.
- Make space for ‘family time’ e.g. trip to the park, games, movie nights, a BBQ or prepare a healthy meal together.
- Have some family rituals, i.e. reading a story before bed, preparing a meal together, and going to the football together.
- Schedule one-on-one time with your own children.
- It is important that you have a family discussion before a child is placed in your care, that centres around including the child in family routines and considering how the child will fit in with your family.