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Support for young people in care has been extended past 18 to the age of 21. This historic change allows desperately needed time to develop independent and interdependent living skills that young people need for healthy adulthoods.
In this month’s Community of Practice workshop, we explored the additional challenges that LGBTQIA+ young people face in care, reflecting on how to provide a secure base in care and environment for exploring self-identity safely.
This month, we are thrilled to welcome Billy Black to our team at the CETC as a Care Experience Resource and Training Specialist. Billy has advocated for children and care since she was 15 years old. It was around this time that Billy realised she was a powerful advocate for change – not only in her own life and care experience but at a systems level.
What are care leaver’s experiences of having their own children during transitions from care? In this guest blog, multidisciplinary researcher and practitioner Jade Purtell highlights three core issues that impact how care leavers with children access and receive support.
Presence is important for holding what wants to unfold in the space within a relationship. These deeper qualities of presence include focused attention, open awareness and kind intention. Children and young people, feel they don’t come into existence until they have a sense of being seen by their caregivers. For young people to grow, their relationships with caregivers are critical for them to feel safe in the world and understand themselves better.
Kinship care, or family care as it is known in some jurisdictions, is when family members or non-family members in a child or family’s social network offer a home and support to a young person who is unable to live with their parents. Kinship care placements have greatly increased across all Australian states and territories and are the fastest growing form of out-of-home care (OOHC) in Australia. In Victoria, between 2017-2021, kinship care grew in Victoria by 33.2 per cent from 5,577 to 7,429 children in OOHC living in kinship care.
Compassion is the ability to feel and connect with the suffering of another human being, and self-compassion is the ability to feel and connect with one’s suffering. More specifically, for our purposes, self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. To be self-compassionate, we need to give ourselves the recognition, validation, and support we would offer a loved one who is suffering.
A new report released by the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, Zoë Robinson, calls on the government to listen and respond to the voices of children and young people in out-of-home care. The themes of loss of culture, trauma, leaving care, health, sibling separation and lack of safety will be familiar to many, writes Kelly Royds. Still, the report offers a powerful compendium of children’s and young people’s voices that demand to be heard.
What is an amygdala hijack? How can you stop it? In this first part of his compassion series of blogs, Noel MacNamara explains what this is and how to handle it.
Blocked care happens when a carer or carers enter a state of prolonged stress, suppressing their capacity to sustain loving and empathic feelings towards their child. It stems from a need for self-protection and defensiveness and fosters child's immediate behaviour and most negative aspects a reactive style of caring that is narrowly focused on the immediate behaviour and most negative aspects of the child.
Children and young people need adults in their lives to make decisions that are in their best interest, create safety and foster positive relationships; this is paramount for children in out-of-home care. These best interest decisions are especially true for children and young people from culturally diverse backgrounds who are in out-of-home care or have a statutory intervention. Unfortunately, I have often seen a breakdown in relationships and communication due to language barriers, cross-cultural misunderstandings, and missed opportunities for repair and strengthening of protective factors.
Kevin Creeden, Director of Assessment and Research at Whitney Academy Massachusetts and a speaker at the 2022 International Child Trauma Conference said in recent training, “If you don’t feed the staff, they will eat the kids:”
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