Support Groups provide caregivers with networking and peer support opportunities in their local area. If you are an established Support Group/Association here is some information you might find useful.
How caregivers join a support group
A caregiver can join a support group at anytime by calling Fostering Kids NZ on 0800 693 323 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. A caregiver can be a member of more than one group. When a caregiver joins Fostering Kids NZ, we will give them a list of open support groups in their area. The new caregiver can go along to a meeting and decide whether they would like to join. Support groups will also be promoted on our website.
How support groups communicate
Support Group/Association liaison will be able to see contact details for members of their Support Group on the secure Support Group On Line Management System (formerly the Association Link). Support Groups can choose the best communicate method for their group. Some ways to communicate are:
1. Support groups can submit a mailout to their members and/or other caregivers in their region through the Fostering Kids NZ mail system.
2. Smaller support groups/closed support groups may choose to communicate through text messages or personal email to organise their meetings.
3. Meetings and get togethers can be advertised on the Fostering Kids NZ website calendar and in our monthly newsletter, Snippets.
Claiming your meeting/get together contribution is easy, simple click on the link above and you will be directed to the Support Group On Line Management System (formerly the Association Link), complete the online form and then submit it. The contribution will be deposited into the nominated bank account within two working weeks.
Fostering Kids NZ will pay a contribution of $3 per member towards the refreshments for your meeting. Support groups can claim a contribution for up to eight meetings per year. Any further claims will be dependent on funding availability. You can claim for up to two 'mentors' per meeting. A 'mentor' is a member of Fostering Kids NZ who is not a caregiver, they may be a professional, retired or having a break.
Funding for special events
If your support group is organising a special event and needs additional funding they can apply to the Regional Committee. Each Regional Committee has an annual budget to use for events being held throughout their region. This amount is reviewed annually and set within budget limitations. Support groups must apply to the Regional Committee for event funding.
Support groups must apply to the Regional Committee for event funding:
1. Complete the event proposal funding application, available online.
2. Email to Regional Coordinator who will present your proposal at the next Regional Committee meeting, make sure that the application is submitted in a timely manner as Committee meetings are monthly.
3. Fostering Kids NZ can pay approved expenses by sending a tax invoice to email@example.com. These can be paid either prior to the event or after the event.
4. Complete a short survey about how your event went.
In each region there is a Regional Committee/Panel made up of up-to six caregivers from the region, National Office team as required, and the Regional Coordinator. The Regional Committee will approve event proposals from the Support Groups and offer assistance where necessary. They may plan/organise events for all members in their region and promote events on facebook.
We expect this role will take about two hours a month and include a Skype, or similar, meeting with other committee members. More time will be required if events are being organised in the region. If you would like to apply to be on your Regional Committee/Panel please complete this form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In recognition and appreciation of the extra time and support of the caregivers in their region, Fostering Kids NZ will contribute towards the Committee Members attending National Conference and Regional Hui.