Over the last few months, I have become aware through our Allegation and Critical Support services that an increasing number of caregivers are providing care under very trying and stressful circumstances.
As an advocacy service, we believe that the caregiver’s well-being and knowledge is paramount to providing a safe, secure, stable and loving home for the children placed with them. This requires the team around the child to communicate well with the caregiver, to offer support and understanding and to be available when needed. Supporting and training the caregiver well, will strengthen the relationship and prevent placement breakdowns, which is in the best interests of the child.
Training and support is needed, for not only the caregivers, but also those professionals that are working with the care family to understand how important a secure attachment is for children. This one factor can change the trajectory for children so that they do not become one of the 95% of adults in the justice system who have a care and protection background. With high caseloads and limited resources our Caregiver Social Workers are doing a wonderful job with what is currently available.
Foundation for Attachment Programme
In the last few issues of Snippets we have provided information and highlights about the delivery in the Manawatu of our Foundation for Attachment programme. Our wish is to eventually provide this programme and our model of support to all caregivers nationally and by the response and the calls we have had at National Office from our caregivers – the need is certainly there.
We are working with Oranga Tamariki toward improved caregiver support and training. As you know Government has provided some funding for this purpose. While we don’t know what this looks like as yet, we will continue to keep you informed and represent the care family’s voice at both National and Regional levels.
So thanks for your feedback, emails and phone calls and hopefully in the near future we can provide you with this training as well as the support that you so desperately need.
Watch out for our National Survey over the next Month. Caregivers have always been very obliging in participating in our survey and this is vital if we are to represent your views. So be sure to have your say, take the time to complete and good luck with the wonderful prizes.
Noho ora mai
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