Advocating for Caregivers

Last month we were disappointing to hear Minister Martin and the Children’s Commissioner saying on national TV that Oranga Tamariki had increased support for caregivers and that things were improving.  As the national advocate for caregivers in New Zealand, we spoke with the media. In the past year, we have seen some small areas of improvement, but generally caregivers are telling us that nothing has changed. We do not feel that there has been a big enough investment in direct support for caregivers by Oranga Tamariki. Here is the story that aired on TVNZ:

Click here

Kate Hawkesby joined the story and recognised the amazing work that caregivers do.  She recognised that the issues sit directly with Oranga Tamariki but also asked all New Zealanders to appreciate and support the work that you do: Click here

Lisa Owen interviewed Minister Martin on The Nation (channel 3), Click here.

Following this Grainne Moss (Chief executive of Oranga Tamariki: Ministry for Children) asked Fostering Kids NZ what success might look like in a years’ time for caregivers and we offered the following suggestions:

  1. Family Homes:
  • New agreement
  • Revised supplement/manual
  • Specialized training
  1. Social Workers (C&P and CGSW) and Managers – Training in attachment and complex trauma- currently no training provided.
  1. Re-establish partners meetings with intention of:
  • Identifying impact of changes and develop management plans
  • Provide direct avenue for feedback
  • Monitor trends and risks
  1. Develop some kind of support & foundation training for UCB carers and particularly grandparents or whanau.
  1. Elevate role of CGSW and provide external support so they are not feeling undervalued and ineffective.  Some clinical support would be valuable when assisting caregiver in dealing with behaviour.
  1. Establish a financial plan for Caregivers, as with children, so CGSWs can access resources/services for caregivers as they need to.
  1. Pilot- Trauma informed training for teachers.
  1. Develop a strong one year, Induction/Support process for new caregivers.
  1. Develop policy for the removal/ transition of children that includes- decision making panel and high level report on placement disruption for any reason.
  1. Increase investment in caregiver support agencies to deliver greater direct support and alleviate stress on CGSW role.
  1. Strengthen the VOYCE advocacy role to manage individual support for children/ young people.

If you have any other other suggestions, please let us know.  Email communications@nullfosteringkids.org.nz

 

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