By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of culture and identity
  • Explain what’s important for the child when entering care
  • Describe the losses that may be experienced by the child/young person, birth whanau/family and care family when a child /young person goes into care
  • Identify effective ways to assist and respond to loss and grief for all parties
  • Explain the importance of a child maintaining positive family/whanau and cultural relationships
  • Compare the differences between family/whanau and non family/whanau care. Describe ways to transition / say goodbye to a child or young person

The first session begins with the understanding of culture and cultural difference and how it relates to the carer role. It will explain that cultural variations exist between all families not just between different ethnic groups. We will explore what a new child most needs to feel welcome in a new ‘culture’ The session winds up by looking at what the carer can do to best help the child or young person, their own family, and even the child’s family.

The second session looks at the experience of loss and change for the child, their birth family and the carer family, when a child or young person moves into care. It explores the grief response and the impact this can have on each of the parties, and hence on the care experience for all parties.

Children in care are a part of two families, they will always remain a part of their birth family and while they are in care become a part of your family as well. The third session will discuss the importance of keeping a child / young person connected to their cultural identity, whanau / kin and explore ways to assist this happening. We will also explore the impact on the carer family. The differences between whanau/kin care and foster care will also be explored.

The last session is a brief look at the end of the child’s time living with the care family. It looks at where the child may be moving onto and why; the possible experience of both the child/young person, and the carer family. It also discusses what preparations may support both the child/young person and the carer family cope with the transition and positive ways of saying ‘goodbye’.

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