Council Updates

14th May 2024

We are pleased to share with the South Australian carer community the 1 December 2023 Carer Council Post-Meeting Report to the Honourable Katrine Hildyard MP, Minister for Child Protection - click here to access the report

The first meeting in December was a chance for the Council to form, the Members to meet and to agree on the structure and governance of the Council. Since then, the Council has met a second time in March 2024 to commence its work as an advisory council to Minister Hildyard. The Council is due to meet again in June 2024.

Behind the scenes, our part-time project lead has been working hard to ensure Carer Council Members are adequately briefed on topics of discussion, have high quality speakers on the important topics before it, and the Council’s recommendations are accurately captured and provided to the Minister. We look forward to sharing future updates on the Council’s work as soon as we can.


12th February 2024

Carer Council public consultation: invitation to provide feedback

Connecting Foster and Kinship Carers SA (CF&KC-SA), on behalf of the Carer Council, invites carers to provide feedback on the following topics for consideration at the Carer Council meeting on 5 March 2024:

  • Care concerns
  • Carer remuneration
  • Respite

The Carer Council will discuss the above topics in line with the broader topic of retention and attraction of carers.

As carers have already provided extensive feedback on these topics in the past, we have included a summary - click here to access the summary.

We invite the South Australian carer community to provide additional feedback, if there is anything further you believe the Carer Council should consider. We encourage carers to share their experience, as it relates to these topics, only if you feel comfortable and safe to do so. Your feedback will be stored confidentially and supplied to the Carer Council in an anonymous format.

Additionally the Carer Council will be briefed on what CF&KC-SA has previously heard from carers through CF&KC-SA annual surveys, reference groups, information sessions, our carer advocacy service, carers directly contacting us, as well as Dr Fiona Arney’s Report on the Independent Inquiry into Foster and Kinship Care.

Click here to access links to the Inquiry Report and our summaries.

CF&KC-SA acknowledges there is a long history of systemic advocacy in these areas. We acknowledge reports and inquiries have revealed similar problems and gaps to address over many years. For example, the Nyland Report (2016), and KPMG’s Report into Foster and Kinship Care in South Australia (2017). CF&KC-SA and the Carer Council will endeavour to amplify carers voices to ensure feedback is heard by the Minister for Child Protection.

You may provide your feedback by:

  • Emailing us at note you will receive an automatic reply noting your email has been received. If you do not receive an automatic reply, your email has not been delivered correctly.
  • Completing our online feedback form - click here to access
  • Calling or texting our Project Lead, Lauren Gibbs (her usual work days are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) – 0456 748 333. Alternatively you may phone our freecall number 1800 732 272 to speak with Lauren
  • Attending an information and feedback session:

Please submit your feedback by no later than Monday 26th February 2024, in preparation for Carer Council consideration.


9th February 2024

Introducing Lorraine Joy
Carer Council Chair

Lorraine is a specialist foster carer, who has been caring for 9 years.

“I became a foster carer after I hit a point in my life that I questioned what I really wanted to do. My grandparents were foster carers (very different then), I kept hearing advertising and followed the path. Some of my fondest memories of caring are watching and being a part of growth, through love, laughter, uncontrollable giggles and challenging each other.

I am passionate about caring for carers, listening and validating their concerns, needs and challenges in a productive and helpful manner. I bring lived experience from my own challenges as a therapeutic foster parent, emergency carer and respite carer. I have provided personal advocacy for carers during times of need, facilitated the CF&KC-SA Grief and Transition Group as a volunteer, and helped start the Carer Consultation Group with my service provider, in which I took on a Chairperson and note taker’s role in the infancy years of the group. As the Carer Council Chair, I bring these skills along with my heart.

My hopes for the Carer Council are to provide a fair and honest representation of carer voices (foster/kinship, respite, specialist, SCO) and through consultation, support positive systemic changes. It comes back to communication and consultation. We are in this TOGETHER!”


2nd January 2024

Today the Minister for Child Protection met with Lorraine Joy (the Carer Council’s inaugural Chair), Fiona Endacott (CF&KC-SA’s CEO) and Lauren Gibbs (CF&KC-SA’s Carer Council Project Lead) to discuss the outcomes from the first Carer Council meeting held in December. The Minister was provided with a Terms of Reference and a Work Plan developed by the Carer Council for endorsement.

The Carer Council’s Strategy on a Page and a summary of the schedule of topics set out in the Work Plan will be provided to our membership and the broader carer community soon.

We took the opportunity to inform the Minister of the Carer Council’s commitment to engaging in systems thinking to advocate for systemic change, and the insightful views of the Members in working towards a more loving child protection and family support system that engages with respect, empathy, kindness, trust, flexibility, equity and transparency (the word cloud image reflects Carer Council member thoughts on key words that describe child protection).

The Carer Council, as a representative advisory body, will provide advice to the Minister and engage in consultative processes to inform topics discussed at its meetings scheduled for 5 March 2024, 4 June 2024 and 17 September 2024. Further information on how you can engage in consultation will be provided in late January – early February.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please email: or freecall 1800 732 272


1st December 2023

Today the inaugural Carer Council met for the first time to prepare their plan for the next 12 months. This group of enthused Carers engaged in constructive discussions on improving the child protection and family-based care support system.

We welcome the following Carers to the Council:

  • Alexandra Ingleton
  • Dana Wright
  • Ellese Nelson
  • Emily Ware
  • Gai McMichael
  • Gail Ward
  • Jakob Schmaal
  • Kailah Hurditch
  • Kate Thomas
  • Lorraine Joy
  • Peter Kennedy
  • Suzanne Scanlon

At the first meeting, Council Members undertook an activity in “systems thinking” and how to create systemic change. The Council discussed foster and kinship care as one important element in a broader child protection system with the purpose of ensuring the safety and security of vulnerable children and young people. This set the scene for how the Carer Council can ensure the voice of carers is heard in transforming a broader child protection and family support system which has many elements working alongside one another. For example, children and young people, policy, practice, workers, agencies, the judicial system and legislation.

At the request of the Minister, a priority topic for the next Carer Council meeting in March 2024 will be “retention and attraction”. The Carer Council would also like to discuss how care concerns and carer remuneration are key issues to address in supporting retention and attraction.

The Council is committed to consulting with the broader Carer community on these important topics. An update on how you can be involved to share your thoughts around these issues will be provided soon.

Click here to read the Minister's media release


5 October 2023

Did you know, if you are appointed to the State Government's Carer Council, you will have an opportunity to...

  • represent the voices of SA's Foster and Kinship Carers
  • provide the Minister for Child Protection, Katrine Hildyard with independent advice
  • contribute to the design of policy, practice and reform surrounding foster and kinship care in SA
  • work collaboratively with government and non-government partners
  • be remunerated for your attendance at meetings by the NFP at levels consistent with the SA Government standard for Boards and Committee (regional Carers will also be reimbursed for their travel and accommodation for meetings)

If this sounds like you and you are an active carer, with lived experience as a family based carer, we invite you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Click here to access the Role Description

Click here to access the Expression of Interest (EOI) form 

Expressions of Interest will close at 5pm, Monday 16 October 2023.


18 September 2023

Carer Council Expressions of Interest (EOIs) now open

We are pleased to announce that Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to join the State Government's Carer Council are now open

Creating the Carer Council was a key recommendation of Dr Fiona Arney to amplify the voices of carers and provide the Minister for Child Protection, Katrine Hildyard, with independent advice that contributes to the design of policy, practice and reform surrounding foster and kinship care in South Australia. The 12-person Council is an opportunity to ensure SA's Foster and Kinship Carer community is heard. As such the Carer Council composition is as follows:

  • 5 foster carer members
  • 7 kinship carer members

Of the 12 Carer Council members, carers will be appointed to represent metropolitan, regional and First Nations.

We welcome EOIs from active carers, with lived experience as a family based carer, from metropolitan and regional areas and include members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Expressions of Interest will close at 5pm, Monday 16 October 2023.

Click here to access the Role Description

Click here to access the Expression of Interest (EOI) form 


Key Dates

Carer Council Expressions of Interest (EOI) timeline:

  • Monday 18 September – EOIs open for Carer Council positions
  • Monday 16 October – EOIs close at 5pm
  • Monday 6 Novembersuccessful candidates notified

Carer Council meeting dates:

  • Friday 1st December 2023
  • Tuesday 5 March 2024
  • Tuesday 4 June 2024
  • Tuesday 17 September 2024

Meetings will be held during the day, preferably during school hours

Announcement of the Facilitator for Carer Council meetings
Dana Shen will oversee and facilitate the Carer Council, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience across health, families and child protection with public and not-for-profit organisations, where she delivered programs and developed policy to create better outcomes for the community.

Dana’s expert facilitation skills and ability to lead complex conversations whilst ensuring frank and full engagement will provide a strong foundation for the Carer Council to support the Minister and impact long-lasting change for the carer community.

“Dana is excited to join the Carer Council and is ready to guide the important conversations that will emerge from each session and provide tangible, constructive advice for the Minister to consider"

Appointment of the Carer Council Project Lead
Lauren Gibbs will join CF&KC-SA as Project Lead to plan, organise and oversee the Carer Council. Bringing lived experience as a foster carer to the role, Lauren has also worked as a legal practitioner for the Legal Services Commission and we look forward to Lauren commencing in early October.


July 2023

Carer Council Project Lead recruitment

We have been in close discussions with the Minister on next steps and we are pleased to advise applications are now open for the position of the Carer Council Project Lead (previously referred to as an Administrator/Coordinator).

The Project Lead will be responsible for establishing and overseeing the Minister-appointed Carer Council. This role requires a passionate, committed and organised team player to provide ongoing strategic and operational support to the Council.

The successful candidate would have previous experience in a similar role, demonstrated knowledge of the social and legal issues relating to foster and kinship care and be able to communicate confidently with all stakeholders, including SA family-based Carers, child protection agencies and Ministerial staff.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates are encouraged to apply.

Further information and a copy of the Job Description is available – click here

Applications are invited by Friday 28th July via SEEK – click here

In late July/early August we will commence the expression of interest (EOI) process to join the Carer Council. Further details about the EOI process will be announced at that time.

Carer Council Q&A
For further information about the Carer Council, please review our Carer Council Q&A sheet (updated 12/7/23)click here.

For any other enquiries please email us on


May 2023

New Carer Council to provide advice to the Minister for Child Protection (May 

Connecting Foster & Kinship Carers SA will administer the new Carer Council at the invitation of the Minister for Child Protection, The Honorable Katrine Hildyard. To read the media release – please click here.

The Carer Council was a key recommendation from Dr Fiona Arney’s Independent Inquiry into Foster and Kinship Care, and will provide a dedicated platform for the Carer voice to be heard by State government on issues crucial to improving the child protection system and the rights of Carers.

The Carer Council will consist of 12 current, approved Carers appointed by the Minister for Child Protection, at her absolute discretion. We have been advised that to ensure true representation, kinship and foster carers from both metropolitan and regional areas, along with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Carers, will be appointed to the Council. The Council will meet at least four times annually to discuss key issues, to be determined by the Council, and will report directly to the Minister.

We are thrilled to take carriage of this rare opportunity to mobilise the Carer voice with a view to improve policy, practice and legislation. Although the exact details of our role in administering the Carer Council and the processes to be adopted to bring it together are still being refined, it is intended that we will assist in the administration of recruiting carers and then to arrange and facilitate the meeting of the Carer Council. In order to do that, it is necessary for us to recruit a Project Lead for the Carer Council, which is currently in progress.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Whilst the enquiries email will be monitored, we ask for your patience in dealing with each of the enquiries as we undertake recruitment and until the details are determined.

Best wishes,

Fiona Endacott
Chief Executive Officer