Hold My Hand

HMH1Hold My hand is training which recognises the wonderful support biological and permanent care children and young people of carers provide to their parents who provide foster and kinship care.

Gail Walton co-wrote the I Care 2 package, and along with Deb Collard from FCAV, ran the training with support of Carer KaFÉ at the Royal Melbourne Zoo. We were grateful for the wonderful support of Loretta Ierardo from the Carer KaFÉ team and Donna from Berry Street in the North.

 

We had 11 carers and 21 children and young people participate on the day. The quality discussions were testament to the need for in person interaction that young people had been missing during the pandemic. Sharing their parents’ time and attention was one of the most difficult challenges that children outlined, which aligns with the research. It was also very obvious that these children and young people were amazing supports to their parents who often had children in their care who experienced trauma and challenging behaviours.

 

Grief and loss was a common experience of the group, and this can have a long-term impact on all parties. The group discussion was very open and inclusive. It centred upon the need for ongoing support and training, and we are pleased to have been approved for follow up sessions later this year. Agencies are also keen to learn more and would like to contribute to ensure support is provided to these children and young people.

 

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Feedback from the training:

 

 “Great to attend a training that includes our biological children, since they are a big part of our foster care journey.”

 

“We really appreciate Carer KaFÉ organising accommodation and transport support so that we could attend. It was wonderful to connect with other carers and share ideas.”

 

“Thank you so much for the chance to include my daughter as it is just as important for her to feel like she is part of the foster journey. Thanks, Deb, for our chat.”

 

This was a very successful beginning to the roll-out of training that we hope to run to make a difference and embed support to the children and young people of carers who contribute to the foster care system.