The safety, welfare and wellbeing of children, young people and people with disability is of the utmost importance to CareSouth.
We are proud to be one of the first NSW-based Out-of-Home Care providers to undertake the Australian Childhood Foundation’s Safeguarding Children accreditation.
The Safeguarding Children accreditation helps organisations to develop best practices and systems to protect children and young people from harm, including the harm of sexual abuse. It is based on lessons learned from a range of government inquiries into the abuse of children in organisations, and aims at preventing risks to child safety across all areas of our work.
Taking part in the Safeguarding Children program means that CareSouth needs to put some new requirements in place, to make sure everyone involved in caring for children and young people understands their role in protecting children and young people from harm.
Everyone involved in working with CareSouth, from Board members and employees to volunteers and carers, will need to meet these requirements. All of our employees, volunteers and carers will need to complete compulsory training around preventing abuse, and read and follow our updated policies and procedures around how we prevent and respond to abuse and neglect.
What does that mean for carers?
In early 2018, CareSouth will be asking all carers to:
- complete online Safeguarding Children and Young People training – which will include a special guest appearance by Chris Hemsworth! There will be options to do training either in our offices or from your home, with support from our staff.
- sign a form to say you have read and understood our new Safeguarding Children and Young People policies and procedures and Carer Practice and Behaviour Guidelines.
We will support all carers in understanding and meeting these requirements. Your CareSouth caseworker will discuss this with you in early 2018 to outline when and how we will be rolling out these requirements.
Shared Stories Shared Lives
Initial training for foster carers in NSW is based on the Shared Stories, Shared Lives training manual. This covers:
- Principles of out-of-home care
- Child protection
- Why does child abuse occur?
- Working with children who have been abused
- Safe caring
- Case plans
- Understanding attachment
- Building resilience
- Understanding and managing difficult behaviour
- Managing and promoting contact with birth families
- Developing identity and self-esteem
- Valuing diversity and promoting equality
- Understanding the impact of trauma
- Recording and Life Story work
- First aid/health and safety
- Education of fostered children/young people
- Empowering children/young people
- Maintaining cultural heritage
- Responding to prejudice
- Preparing young people for moving on and adult independence
The training can be run over two full days (such as consecutive Saturdays), or a series of evenings. It is usually available outside business hours. Training is also offered in an ongoing manner to foster carers, to update and broaden their skills.