New training for Foster and Kinship Carers

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government has taken another significant step on its journey to safeguard the wellbeing of children, young people and families in the Northern Territory with the launch of the Family and Foster Carer Training Program.

The Family and Foster Carer Training Program has been designed in response to Recommendation 33.19 of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory – to better support foster and kinship carers through accessible training.

The program’s flexible and accessible format will increase the number of potential carers by facilitating training for those who may not otherwise be able to complete training to become authorised carers, such as people in remote communities who are unable to attend face-to-face training and people with limited English language literacy.

A key feature of the new program is the focus on providing practical strategies to support current and future carers, including:

Understanding what loss, grief and trauma is and how it affects young people in care;Exploring some of the complex behaviours that trauma-affected young people might show;Understanding the different stages of a child and young person’s development as well as behaviours of concern; and Understanding what carers can do to look after themselves and where to find help if they need it.

The Northern Territory Government consulted widely during the development of the program to draw on existing practitioner knowledge and cultural expertise; the knowledge and experience of existing family and foster carers, and the expertise of key external stakeholders.

Significant progress has been made to implement the 218 recommendations, with 158 complete and 57 underway. The Northern Territory Government is investing $229 million over five years to reform and improve services for children and families experiencing vulnerability.

Quotes from Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing, Kate Worden:

“Kinship and foster carers are crucial to our care system so that young people entering care can be safely placed in family and home-like environments that provide the safety and security these children need.

“This new training program will ensure we are giving constant advice and updates to our carers, which in turn supports better care for our children. We also need to make sure our carers feel supported and valued, as they are doing the work to keep our children and young people safe.”

Northern Territory Government

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