North West News – December 2017/January 2018

North West RC
Teena Bennett
06 281 1642 or
027 285 6015

Kia ora Koutou

Taking all these stories into consideration shaped my approach to the content of the Northwest Regional Hui held on 14 November 2017.  I felt it was important that caregivers had the opportunity to hear about changes impacting the care sector and Oranga Tamariki caregivers, first hand.  I was thrilled when Site Manager, Frances Farmer, took a personal interest in speaking to caregivers about them.

Children’s behaviour was another challenging area voiced by caregivers and so trauma related subjects were included. The neuroscience of the developing brain impacted by trauma explained the reasons for many of the behaviours caregivers see with children in care and PACE gave some practical understanding of how ‘Parenting with PACE’ (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy) provides a more therapeutic parenting approach.

Francey Langman from Wellstop demystified the worrying area of sexualised behaviour and explained ways to manage this. The day ended with the focus on the caregiver and asking the questions, how do you stay well? Do you value yourself and the role you have as a caregiver enough, and how is this demonstrated in your own self care?

Feedback from attendees indicated everybody really enjoyed the day. A few comments were “Thank you so much for the today – speakers were wonderful, thought provoking, keeps me mindful of the children we care for”, “Today was fantastic and I learnt so much”, “Loved the Hui, great variety of speakers”.

To finish, I feel blessed to meet and support such amazing people in my role as Regional Co-ordinator. After many years working in this field I still find myself being challenged to think about what child centred practice really means and why it is so vital that we do everything in our power to protect and grow the children that come into care. To all our members in Whanganui, Taumarunui and Taranaki, I hope you have a peaceful break, enjoy your families and the time you spend together.

Noho ora mai, be safe and well Teena

Association Information

Taranaki Foster Care Association

Greetings All, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say what a pleasure it has been, becoming a Key Contact this year, and a massive thank you to those that have supported the events we have had throughout the year. These have been a fantastic opportunity to put faces with names, and to begin creating connections and friendships. I actively encourage you to join us next year.

In the mean time I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Safe Christmas period.
Kind regards

Training looking back and looking forward

I tried mixing things up a little this year, holding trainings in Stratford and Waitara and on a Saturday.  Still hopeful of more attendees to our workshops so if you know of anyone out there caring, let them know about these learning opportunities.  I see that a lot of the attendees travel to get to the workshops.  Thanks, this indicates that distance is not always a barrier to attending training.

As a reminder, travel costs are reimbursed by the Ministry of Social Development “Reimbursements of between 40 and 300km (maximum paid is $100 per person or couple)”. A phone call to me can assist in arranging a ride if you want to attend but can’t get there.

Further reimbursement is available for childcare, $50 for 1 child or $70 for 2 or more. This is not just for childcare centres; payment can be made to a family member or friend. Forms to claim for both travel and childcare are available at the trainings, or you can contact Christine on 0800 100 849 for more details or assistance. Continual efforts are made by Fostering Kids NZ to ensure existing trainings include information that is up to date with changing expectations and themes in foster care. So consider attending as a refresher, even if you have attended the workshop before.

I’m very excited at the introduction of a new workshop Fostering Kids New Zealand has developed called ‘The Importance of Play’.  It really highlights the developmental benefits from play and not just for pre-schoolers, especially those children in care that don’t always get that play/brain learning before they came into care.  Understanding what sits behind play stages in development can benefit all children placed in care.  I’ve booked this new workshop in New Plymouth on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 and then in Taumarunui and Whanganui the following term.

We are also trialing shortened training days to fit in better with school hours, we will now finish by 2.45pm to allow people to get back to pick children up from school. We will continue to offer different times and venues, for example next year we will hold training in Hawera in the second term.

The Term One training schedule is now live on our website. Please go and have a look at what we are offering next term. I would love to see you at one of the trainings. Registrations are required, please register here.  Or if you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact Christine on 0800 100 849.

Dates for Diary:

BBQ LUNCH – Fostering Kids NZ and the Taranaki Foster-care Association  invite caregivers, children and their families to a BYO lunch at:

Brooklands Zoo oWednesday, 24 January 2018, from 11.30am till 1.30pm

BBQ food (meat, bread and coleslaw) and drinks will be provided – Caregivers are asked to bring a blanket, umbrella and any other food items you wish to bring.

A reminder will be emailed after the 15 January 2018.

 To help us with catering

PLEASE RSVP to Kylie on 0273903738 or Teena on 0272856015

with numbers attending from your family/whanau – Kia ora 

Other areas around the North West Region

If you know of, or, would like to help put on a gathering for caregivers and their families over the next couple of months, contact me to help get the word out.

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