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Slide Number: 1 Module 7: Support, Advocacy and Self Care.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide Number: 1 Module 7: Support, Advocacy and Self Care."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide Number: 1 Module 7: Support, Advocacy and Self Care

2 Slide Number: 2 Module 7: Support, Advocacy and Self Care Learning Outcomes 1. Foster carers are able to identify their support needs; 2.Foster carers to understand the impact of fatigue on providing a ‘safe’ care environment; 3. Foster carers have a range of skills able to be used to seek out the supply of supports; 4. Foster carers feel confident in requesting support; 5. Foster carers understand the difference and links between support and advocacy; 6. Foster carers know where to seek assistance and advocacy for themselves and the children and young people for whom they care;

3 Slide Number: 3 7. Foster carers are aware of the role of Foster Care Queensland and the FCQ FAST delegates; 8. Foster carers know who the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian and the Children Services Tribunal are, what role they play and how to access them; 9. Foster carers are self aware of their own bodies’ signs of fatigue and are able to identify their own stressors; 10.Foster carers are able to apply a range of effective mechanisms to decrease or manage their stress; 11.Foster carers are able to acknowledge the need for self care and identify practical ways of caring for themselves.

4 Slide Number: 4 Module 7: Support, Advocacy and Self Care Content 1.What is support and why is it important? 2.What is advocacy? 3.What is self care and why is it important?

5 Slide Number: 5 What is support? The Oxford dictionary describes support as: carry weight of, prop up, keep from falling or sinking, enable to last out, give strength to, encourage, endure, supply with necessaries, lend assistance to, back up, encourage.

6 Slide Number: 6 Supporting Strong Parenting in the Australian Foster Care System “Fostering can only ever be one part of a joint enterprise of caring for children and young people in need of out-of-home provision. The state has ultimate responsibility for many of the children who are in this position, and engages foster parents, because in currently accepted wisdom this is the preferred means of meeting this community responsibility. But foster carers and the foster care system is vulnerable at many points. The success of foster care as a method for providing protection and care for children and young people deprived of, or denied, a natural family in which to develop, depends primarily and largely on the quality of the foster relationship.

7 Slide Number: 7 (cont.) This in turn depends on, firstly, the calibre and expertise of the fostering family, and secondly, the quality and effectiveness of the surrounding and supporting system. In a “good practice” foster care system, then, there will be both good practice at the family or foster carer level, and there will be good practice in the supporting structures put in place to assist the foster family. Foster care is thus a joint activity between foster families, government(s) and community structures.” Published by the Australian Foster Care Association

8 What is fatigue ? Fatigue can be described as the experience of physical and mental tiredness or exhaustion that can be triggered by stress, medication, overwork, or mental and physical illness or disease.  It is different to feelings of tiredness usually experienced  It is our body signaling that something is wrong physically or emotionally. Slide Number: 8

9 Why is fatigue important? Fatigue impacts our parenting abilities. It reduces our capacity to think clearly and make good decisions. It can ‘creep’ up without warning and can be hard to recognise in ourselves. Slide Number: 9

10 Case Scenario  A foster carer has three children in her care aged 2, 4 and 5.  Her husband is a Fly in/Fly Out employee and is currently working away from home.  The foster carer’s daughter has been hospitalised and she is caring for her grandchildren aged 6 and 8.  The foster carer has been very busy with getting the children to and from school and day care as well as visiting her daughter in hospital.  The foster carer’s daughter is her primary respite option for the children in care.  The foster carer’s grandchildren have been pushing behavioural boundaries and the children in her care have been exhibiting more challenging behaviours than normal.  The foster carer has not been sleeping and eating as well as she normally would and is feeling ‘very tired’. Slide Number: 10

11 Slide Number: 11 Foster carer interpretation of support Formal and Informal emotional support physical and practical support financial support professional development task-focused problem-solving support respite care community support social support

12 Slide Number: 12 ASK for support EXPECT to need and receive support ACCEPT support offered

13 Slide Number: 13 Good advocacy should: be about working in partnership involve listening & communicating with ensure all parties are on equal levels empower individuals through information, support and knowledge address inequity assist in sorting through options for resolution create independence through empowering mediation and negotiation assist in identifying accountability and responsibility

14 Slide Number: 14 Advocacy and support for foster carers is NOT about defending everything, right or wrong, that the carer has done, it IS about ensuring that the foster carer has a clear understanding of everything that is being discussed, has every opportunity to fully participate in discussions and has their right to a fair and just process recognised.

15 Slide Number: 15 Types of Advocacy INDIVIDUAL ADVOCACY: to seek a solution with and for people regarding their particular problems or needs, so as to enhance their situation. SYSTEMIC OR GROUP ADVOCACY: to influence the 'system' (e.g. the policies and procedures of agencies/governments) to change in response to foster carers needs and the needs of children and young people in care. SELF ADVOCACY: is about foster carers speaking up for themselves and developing or maintaining the personal skills and self-confidence necessary to enable them to represent their own interests.

16 Slide Number: 16 Foster Carer Advocacy Foster carers can be seen sometimes as being in a disadvantaged group. This disadvantage may occur due to a number of reasons:- lack of support inability to obtain needed services/assistance emotional and physical stress financial pressures lack of time to fit 'everything' in!! community attitudes, perceptions & misconceptions

17 Slide Number: 17 Possibly one of the biggest 'disadvantages' for foster carers is the feeling of sometimes being on the receiving end. This puts someone else in the position of power, and often in the position of control over your situation. This fact is why advocacy is important, as it assists balance the power ratio.

18 Slide Number: 18 What is FAST? FAST stands for ‘Fostering Advocacy Support Team’ and is a team of specially trained local foster carers who have volunteered to provide support and advice and advocate on behalf of other foster carers. There is a FAST delegate for each Child Safety Service Centre. In some areas more than one FAST delegate has been selected. The FAST delegate provides a local avenue for foster carer to receive advice, support and/or advocacy on individual matters

19 Slide Number: 19 Role of the FAST delegate Provides a local avenue for foster carers to receive advice, support and/or advocacy on individual issues Advocates for groups of foster carers on key issues Co-ordinates feedback on documents & policy issues Communicates policy & procedural information

20 Slide Number: 20 The FAST delegates role in relation to an individual carer is to: Assist the carer to identify the key issues and the outcomes they would like to see happen Provide information and advice Encourage the carer to address the issue at the local level in the first instance (with the CSO or worker involved or with the local decision maker) Support the carer to approach the next level (Team Leader/Manager or Zonal Director) if unsuccessful in resolving matter at first level

21 Slide Number: 21 FAST delegates can support and advocate for carer in meetings, teleconferences etc if requested by the carer Assist the carer to prepare written correspondence Provide advice about internal and external appeal options At any stage urgent matters can be dealt with at a senior level without first having passed through lower levels. Where appropriate may encourage carers to refer matters directly to the Children’s Services Tribunal, Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, CMC, or Ombudsman

22 Self Care Carers need care too!  Self awareness is the ability to recognise and understand our feelings, attitudes and behaviours and our impact on the environment around us.  Self awareness requires us to pay attention to what is going on inside of us as well as around us and noticing how these inside and outside experiences interrelate.  Self awareness is necessary to regulating our lives and looking after our self care needs.  Our self care needs change over our life span as our personal well being needs grow and change.  Self care activities ideally meet body, mind and soul needs.  It is necessary to be alert to our own self awareness and self care needs Slide Number: 22

23 Slide Number: 23 A word about Stress Stress is experienced as a result of our reaction to events happening in our life. Often there is an assumption that stress is inevitably bad for us. But too little as well as too much challenge, stimulation and change can be a threat to health. The Chinese word for “Crisis” has two characters – one means “danger” and the other “opportunity” Stress is ok, distress is not. How you react to stress can be genetic or learned or a combination of both Planning our lives so that stress is not experienced everywhere is one of the most effective ways of dealing with stress Ways of dealing with distress are individual and differ from person to person and from time to time

24 Slide Number: 24 Words Pictures Emotions Self Esteem

25 Slide Number: 25 Self Talk Cycle

26 Slide Number: 26 There are three basic principles that you need to look at: I am as I think I move towards and become like that which I think about My present thoughts determine my future

27 Slide Number: 27 When problems come up in your life, recognise them then ask “what would it look like without the problem?” Tell yourself how you want it to be. If the problem is significant you may wish to go through the following process of clarification: Write down exactly what you believe the main problem to be Write down all possible solutions, even the bad or outrageous ones Think about each solution in practical terms Choose the most practical solution Plan how you will carry that solution out DO IT!

28 Slide Number: 28 In Summary You achieve your self esteem through: Being good at something Controlling your self talk Self talk is controlled by: Accept compliments graciously Do not rely on other people’s approval to function Eliminate sarcasm, criticism, and belittling of yourself and others and do not accept it from others Hear other peoples opinions but know that it is an opinion only Think positive, uplifting thoughts Be constructive, positive and uplifting in your self talk Know that you are worthy and wear it well

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