A new handbook for kinship and foster carers

Released 28/03/2019

The ACT Government continues to support kinship and foster carers with the release of the Carer Handbook, a go-to resource for carers in the ACT. The handbook provides valuable information on the role and responsibilities of caring for a child and who to contact for help and support.

The handbook has been developed by Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) in partnership with ACT Together. Consultation with kinship and foster carers and advocacy groups, such as Carers ACT, helped to inform the topics and information included.

The handbook covers a number of topics including what to expect as a carer, how to care for a child who has experienced trauma and how to manage the different aspects of care such as finance, health and education.

Minister for Children, Youth and Families Rachel Stephen-Smith said carers play a vital role in supporting the development and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable children in Canberra.

“Carers open their hearts and homes to children and young people, and this brings a lot of joy but many challenges too. It is important carers have the right information and resources available to help them provide the guidance, care and support children need.

“It is also critical that carers know about the services and resources available to support their own wellbeing. The Handbook includes information on the support services available and clear advice on how to give feedback and raise concerns.”

Selina Walker, carer, Ngunnawal woman, Carer Wellbeing Sub-Committee member and Barnardos 2017 Mother of the Year, says being a carer can feel overwhelming but is ultimately rewarding.

“One person cannot do this job alone, and nor are they expected to, which is why we all must have strong supports around us that can include friends, family, workers, services, directorates and even pets to hold us up and help when needed.”

“This handbook has been developed to help guide carers and is filled with lots of useful information, tips, facts and advice.”

The Carer Handbook supports the delivery of ‘A Step Up for Our Kids’, the ACT Government’s five-year strategy to keep Canberra’s children and young people strong, safe and connected.

An online version of the Carers Handbook can be access via the Community Services Directorate website: https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/carerhandbook

- Statement ends -

Section: Rachel Stephen-Smith, MLA | Media Releases

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