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The context of foster care Module one: Pre service training.

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1 The context of foster care Module one: Pre service training

2 Pre Service Training Learning Outcomes 1.Demonstrate an awareness of why children and young people require out-of- home placements, how children come into care and the impact this process has on children and young people. 2.Demonstrate an understanding of the past issues affecting a child or young person in an out-of-home placement. 3.Develop the knowledge and skills to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of children and young people subject to statutory intervention and develop an understanding of the importance of participation by children and young people and their families in decision making. 4.Demonstrate an understanding of the partnerships that exist between children, their families, foster carers and workers, (both in the government and non- government sectors), and their roles and responsibilities of working together as a team. 2 Each participant will be assessed throughout the four modules on the following learning objectives:

3 Module one: Context of foster care Learning Outcomes – module one At the end of this module participants will be able to: Explain why children can require out-of-home care placements. Demonstrate knowledge of how children come into care and who is involved in decision making. Identify the needs of children in care, and the roles and responsibilities of foster carers in meeting those needs. 3

4 Module one: Context of foster care Content 1.Why do you want to be a foster carer? What will be the impact on your own family and friends? 2.Why does a child or young person need an out-of-home care placement? 3.How do children and young people come into care and who makes decisions? 4.Roles and responsibilities of foster carers in meeting the needs of children and young people and the differing roles between the Department of Communities - Child Safety, Youth and Families and Licensed Care Services 4

5 Why do you want to be a carer? 1.How did you hear about foster care? 2.Why do you want to be a foster carer? 3.Explain one quality you have that you think might help you be a carer. 4.What impact do you think fostering will have on your family and friends? 5

6 Types of abuse and harm Table 1: Relationship between abuse and harm Type of abuse Actions behaviours by parent/carer PhysicalEmotionalSexualNeglect Hitting Punching Scalding Domestic and family violence Scapegoating Rejection Persistent hostility Domestic and family violence Penetration Sexual exploitation Exposure to pornography Failure to attend to medical needs Poor hygiene / nutrition Inadequate supervision Resulting harm Impact experienced by the child Physical Refers to the body Emotional Refers to the ability to express emotions Psychological Refers to the mind and cognitive processes Bruising Fractures Internal injuries Burns Depression Hyper vigilance Poor self esteem Self harm Fear / anxiety Learning and developmental delays Disorganised attachment Impaired self image In infants, neurological changes in the developing brain 6

7 When does Child Safety intervene - Definition of harm Child Safety investigates when there is a suspicion that a child is in need of protection. The Child Protection Act 1999 (section 10) defines a “child in need of protection” as a child who: 7 a) has suffered harm, is suffering harm or is at unacceptable risk of suffering harm and b) does not have a parent able and willing to protect the child from harm. The Act (section 9) defines harm as, “any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing”.

8 Principles of the Child Protection Act 1999 (1) This Act is to be administered under the principle that the welfare and best interests of the child are paramount. (2) Subject to subsection (1), this Act is also to be administered under the following principles: (a) every child has a right to protection from harm (b) families have the primary responsibility for the upbringing, protection and development of their children (c) the preferred way of ensuring a child’s well-being is through the support of the child’s family (d)powers conferred under this Act should be exercised in a way that is open, fair and respects, the rights of people affected by their exercise, and in particular, in a way that ensures – (i) actions taken, while in the best interests of the child, maintain family relationships and are supportive of individual rights and ethnic religious and cultural identity or values and (ii) the views of the child and the child’s family are considered and (iii) the child and the child’s parents have the opportunity to take part in making decisions affecting their lives 8

9 Principles of the Child Protection Act 1999 (cont). (e)if a child does not have a parent able and willing to protect the child, the State has a responsibility to protect the child, but in protecting the child the State must not take action that is unwarranted in the circumstances (f)if a child is removed from the child’s family – (i) the aim of authorised officers’ working with the child and the child’s family is to safely return the child to the family if possible and (ii) the child’s needs to maintain family and social contacts, and ethnic and cultural identity, must be taken into account (iii)in deciding in whose care the child should be placed, the chief executive must give proper consideration to placing the child, as a first option, with kin (g) a child should be kept informed of matters affecting him or her in a way and to an extent that is appropriate having regard to a child’s age and ability to understand (h)if a child is able to form and express views about his or her care, the views must be given consideration, taking into account the child’s age or ability to understand (i)if a child does not have a parent able and willing to give the child ongoing protection, the child has a right to long-term alternative care. 9

10 Child Placement Principle Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child should be placed in order of priority to, Section 83 (4) – a) A member of the child’s family or b) A member of the child’s community or language group or c) Another Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander who is compatible with the child’s community or language group or d) Another Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander If a placement can not be made with a member of the child’s community or language group or another Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander within the child’ community or language group, the child will be placed with a non Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander carer making every effort to maintain and support contact between the child and their family and/or community group. 10

11 Who is involved in decision making Child Safety Services Child Safety Officer, team leader, manager, court officer – decides the level of intervention required The Recognised Entity Involved in significant decisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children Other services School staff, police, hospital staff, GP, family, counsellors, non government agencies – provide information about the child and family to assist with decision making Magistrate Decides the child protection order and any conditions when parents disagree with intervention Foster and Kinship Care Agency Decide the appropriate carer for the child and provide the carer support and information, Child Safety Services may also perform this role through the Placement Services Unit. 11

12 String Sculpture Alice’s Story 12

13 String Sculpture Alice is 12 years old. Alice is an only child and lives at home with her mother and father. Alice is in Grade 7 at primary school. Alice is normally a bright and happy young person but for the last 2 weeks her best friend Helen and some of her teachers have noticed that she has become quite withdrawn and always appears tired. 13

14 String Sculpture While Alice and Helen were eating lunch together Alice started to cry and confided in Helen that her father had been touching her in a sexual manner and that this has been happening since she was 10 years old but had gotten worse in the last month. Alice told Helen that his advances were getting bolder and that a few weeks ago he tried to touch her while she was in the shower while her mother was at work. Alice told Helen not to tell anyone. 14

15 String Sculpture The next morning Helen decided to see the Guidance Officer at the school and talk to her about what Alice had told her. The Guidance Officer called the classroom and asked for Alice to come and see her straight away. Alice told the Guidance Officer what had been happening at home. The Guidance Officer then notified the Principal who called Child Safety, Youth and Families who in turn called the Police. 15

16 String Sculpture Two Child Safety Officers and a Police Officer came to the school to speak to Alice. The Child Safety Officer called Alice’s mother and asked her to come to the school also. Alice’s mother did not believe Alice stating that Alice’s father would never do such a thing and she was angry with Alice believing that Alice had made the story up. A decision was made that Alice should see a doctor that day to help determine the possible extent of Sexual Abuse. 16

17 String Sculpture The CSO called the Co-ordinator of the Foster Care Service with a referral for the placement of Alice. The Fostering Service after matching a Foster Carer to Alice’s needs called the Foster Carers with the referral. The Foster Carers and the Foster Care Service Co-ordinator were to meet with the Child Safety Officer at the local Child Safety Service Centre to meet Alice. As the Foster Carers were picking up their children from sport they too would be there when they met Alice. It is now 4.30pm the next afternoon after the time that Alice made the initial disclosure to her friend Helen. 17

18 String Sculpture - Alice’s Story Alice Helen Guidance Officer School Principal 2 Child Safety Officers Police Officer Alice’s Mother Co-ordinator Foster Carers Carers children 18

19 Overview of Child Protection System Investigation and Assessment Aim - Determine if a child is in need of protection. Actions taken - Information gathered from child, family and relevant persons to determine level and length of intervention. The child’s safety, harm and risk of harm are assessed. Decision Child in need of protection Child not in need of protection Child to stay at home or be placed elsewhere Ongoing Intervention Aim - Ensure a child in need of protection receives quality care and protection Actions taken - Casework with the family to return the child, placement of child where required. Decision Child to return home where safe Child to remain in care Length of intervention and type of child protection order where required Intake Aim - Determine the most appropriate response to an allegation of harm or risk of harm. Action taken - Information gathered from caller or relevant persons where required Decision Child Concern Report Notification 19

20 Types of Intervention and Child Protection Orders The duration and purpose of intervention and the subsequent placement, where required, varies according to the needs of the child, young person and their family and the type of intervention or child protection order the child or young person is subject to. Types of intervention include: –Intervention with Parental Agreement – no child protection order –Short Term Child Protection Order –Long Term Child Protection Order 20

21 Intervention with Parental Agreement (IPA) Key aspects of IPA support and assistance without the use of a court order short term and intensive work with parental agreement it must be safe for the child to remain at home on occasions the child may be placed in out-of-home care with the use of a child protection care agreement, if required. 21

22 Temporary Assessment Order (TAO) A Temporary Assessment Order can be made for up to three (3) days, with a possible extension of one (1) business day. The child will usually be placed out of home while the investigation of harm, risk of harm and child in need of protection continues. 22

23 Court Assessment Order (CAO) A Court Assessment Order can be made for twenty-eight (28) days with a possible extension of a further 28 days. Child will usually be placed out of home while the assessment of harm, risk of harm and child in need of protection continues. 23

24 Short-Term Child Protection Order Short-term placements with the aim of returning the child or young person safely home. Short Term Child Protection Orders are usually for a period of time up to 2 years Short term orders can instruct custody or guardianship be given to the chief executive, relative or a significant other. 24

25 Long-Term Guardianship Child Protection Orders Only applied for when all other options for security and stability have been exhausted (but are revokable if circumstances change). Usually Child Safety Services are no longer working to return the child to their parents care, although important connections should be maintained. Long term orders expire the day before the child or young person’s 18 th birthday. Can be granted to the Chief Executive or another suitable person nominated by Child Safety Services 25

26 Directive Orders The Childrens Court can make a directive order when it is assessed the child is in need of protection but can safely remain at home if the parents take certain actions. 26

27 Protective Supervision Orders The child is in need of protection, but supervision will enable: The child to safely remain at home and Supervision of the child’s wellbeing for the period of the supervision order 27

28 Roles and responsibilities in meeting the child’s needs - Child’s Strengths and Needs Assessment Child Safety Services conduct a needs assessment for each child in care. Carers then participate in case planning, goals, actions and tasks to meet any of the assessed needs of the child, including: Behaviour Emotional stability Alcohol and drug use Family of origin relationships Social relationships Cultural identity Physical health Child development and intellectual ability Education / vocation / employment Additional child identified strength /need Life skills for young people aged 15yr and over Relationship with carer family 28

29 Roles and responsibilities in meeting the child’s needs - Charter of Rights for a Child in Care a)to be provided with a safe and stable living environment b)to be placed in care that best meets the child’s needs and is most culturally appropriate c)to maintain relationships with the child’s family and community d)to be consulted about, and to take part in making, decisions affecting the child’s life (having regard to the child’s age or ability to understand), particularly decisions about where the child is living, contact with the child’s family and the child’s health and schooling The Child Protection Act 1999 (Schedule 1 - Charter of Rights for a Child in Care) establishes the following rights for the child or young person:- 29

30 (e)to be given information about decisions and plans concerning the child’s future and personal history, having regard to the child’s age or ability to understand (f)to privacy, including, for example, in relation to the child’s personal information (g)if the child is under the long-term guardianship of the chief executive, to regularly review of the child’s care arrangements (h)To have access to dental, medical and therapeutic services, necessary to meet the child’s needs Roles and responsibilities in meeting the child’s needs - Charter of Rights for a Child in Care (cont.) 30

31 (i)to have access to education appropriate to the child’s age and development (j)to have access to job training opportunities and help in finding appropriate employment (k)to receive appropriate help with the transition from being a child in care to independence, including, for example, help about housing, access to income support and training and education. Roles and responsibilities in meeting the child’s needs - Charter of Rights for a Child in Care (cont.) 31

32 Summary CHILD’S RIGHTS AND NEEDS MET CASE PLAN Goal, outcome, actions CHIILD’S STRENGTH AND NEEDS CHARTER OF RIGHTS Child Protection Act

33 Roles and responsibilities within a Child Safety Service Centre CSSC Manager Senior Practitioner Team Leader Child Safety Officer Child Safety Support Officer Court Coordinator Family Group Meeting Convenor Administrative Staff Business Support Officer 33

34 Roles and responsibilities of licensed care services and placement types Foster and Kinship Care Services – recruit, train and support Specialist Foster Care Residential Care Therapeutic Residential Care Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Safe Houses Supported Independent Living 34

35 Emergency Placement Emergency placement occurs only in a crisis situation with minimal planning. They are an interim measure until a more suitable or stable placement option is located for the child or young person. Emergency placements are likely to be required when: –A child is removed from family in urgent circumstances. –A family with whom Child Safety Services is working with unexpectedly requires a placement. –A child or young person’s foster placement breaks down suddenly. Emergency placements can be very disruptive to children, pre planning and discussing your concerns early can help avoid a placement breakdown and emergency situation. 35

36 Respite Placement Respite is a short placement with an approved carer for children away from their primary carer. Respite is provided as a support service to the child and the primary carer. The child or young person returns to their primary carer after the period of respite. For some children and young people, particularly those with special needs, respite may be a regular occurrence. For others, it may be an option used only occasionally. The use of respite should be part of an approved case plan, negotiated between the carer, Child Safety Services and where applicable, the foster and kinship care service or Recognised Entity. 36

37 Support for Foster Carers Emotional, psychological support and practical support - Regular visits by your non-government support worker, Support line Social support - FAST delegates, Foster and Kinship Care worker Training - Quality care training, pre service, standard and advanced modules Resources - Carer handbook, carer information sheets Task focused problem solving - Foster and Kinship Carer support line, Foster and Kinship Care worker, Child Safety staff Respite Community support groups - FAST delegate, support groups, friends Financial support - Federal and state government support Advocacy and support - FCQ, Foster and Kinship Service, FAST delegate 37

38 Summary module one: Context of foster care Learning Outcomes At the end of this module participants will be able to: Explain why children can require out-of-home care placements. Demonstrate knowledge of how children come into care and who is involved in decision making. Identify the needs of children in care, and the roles and responsibilities of foster carers in meeting those needs. 38

39 Thank you 39


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