At CF&KC-SA, we know, first and foremost, that family-based carers want their foster and kinship children and young people to feel loved and cared for, to live in a stable and secure environment, to have equal opportunity, and to thrive and reach their full potential. We understand though, that providing family-based care can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
We provide carers in South Australia with opportunities to be part of, and supported by, an independent carer informed advocacy body that strives to address and resolve challenges carers encounter by way of executing individual and systemic advocacy. We aim to improve experiences and outcomes in family-based care in SA.
It is of fundamental importance to us that priority partners:
- Value and recognise the carer role.
- Treat carers as an essential part of the child protection system.
- Hear the carer voice.
- Uphold carers’ rights.
- Invite carers to participate in decisions that affect their family-based care household.
We provide two types of advocacy services to carers: systemic and individual.
CF&KC-SA provides individual advocacy when carers experience an issue, and/or conflict with a member of their child or young person’s care team.
We provide individual advocacy by:
- Offering empathic and confidential advocacy support that is free from conflict of interest and independent of the service providers carers are part of (support agencies, DCP for example).
- Listening carefully to a carer’s point of view in order to best understand their needs.
- Informing carers of their rights and entitlements as per the legislation and Statement of Commitment.
- Making sure carers are aware of the responsibilities and requirements of other partners in their child or young person’s care team, as well.
- Ensuring the carer’s voice is heard and considered properly by all parties involved.
- Speaking on behalf of a carer when they are not comfortable actively speaking for themselves.
- Providing information and options for carers when dealing with court orders, court proceedings, and decisions that could affect their contact and care arrangements.
- Helping carers to empower themselves, and understand their choices, options, impact of decisions, and where they can access information.
CF&KC-SA provides systemic advocacy as part of its role as the peak body for foster and kinship carers in SA. We do this by:
- Participating in committees and reference groups.
- Making formal submissions and responses to parliamentary and departmental public consultation requests.
- Taking part in formal sessions about updating and developing relevant policies and procedures across the child protection sector, state and federally.
- Maintaining longstanding relationships with government and non-government chief executives and leaders, as well as commissioners, ministers, parliamentarians, and journalists.
- Publishing media releases and sharing trends and campaigns for our membership.
- Being involved in the Department for Child Protection (DCP) policy and procedural development and reviewal stages.
- Facilitating carer-focused research via surveys, working with university academics and research interns, and running reference groups with carers.
- Reducing the stigma and stereotypes associated with providing foster and kinship care.
Our carer advocacy team is here to connect, inform, support, and advocate for carers. To speak with our advocates, phone 1800 732 272 (freecall) or email:
“I needed your encouragement and support to start - I was in the worst place possible. So over the finger pointing and blame. I didn't feel worth anything anymore. You were there to listen and encourage and advise. Thank you.” (Carer)