A Step Up for Our Kids - One Step Can Make a Lifetime of Difference
Out of home care services in the ACT and around Australia are currently facing many challenges including how to respond to rising demand for out of home care places and difficulties in attracting and retaining foster carers. In addition, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are significantly over represented among care populations and life outcomes for many care leavers continue to be poor. The ACT’s new five year strategy A Step Up for Our Kids - One Step Can Make a Lifetime of Difference (the Strategy) responds to these challenges. The 2015-16 ACT Budget will provide $38.9 million over four years to fund the out of home care system, including an investment of $16 million in new services and reforms through the implementation of A Step Up for Our Kids.
Latest News and Updates
Stepping Up for Our Kids: Real Stories of Keeping Children and Young People Strong, Safe and Connected
The Community Services Directorate, ACT Together, Uniting Children and Families ACT, CREATE Foundation, Carers ACT and the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Service are pleased to launch Stepping Up for Our Kids: Real Stories of Keeping Children and Young People Strong, Safe and Connected.
The publication tells the stories of real families who have had contact with the child protection system under A Step Up for Our Kids. It showcases how agencies under A Step Up for Our Kids are working collaboratively to support children, young people and their families using a trauma informed approach and illustrates how child protection practitioners work creatively to help families.
Agencies under A Step Up came together to discuss what the publication means to them and what they are proud of with A Step Up. The video can be accessed here.
New Advocacy Support Service for Foster and Kinship Carers announced
On 26 July 2016, the Minister for Children and Young People announced Carers ACT as the provider for the new Advocacy Support Service for Foster and Kinship Carers.
Under the A Step Up for Our Kids, carers are central to the provision of a therapeutic, trauma informed system of care. Consideration and support for carers is important part of how we support carers in the caring relationship. A Step Up for Our Kids is about better support for foster and kinship carers as valued partners in the care system.
A key component of this is the establishment of the new Advocacy Support Service for Foster and Kinship Carers. The aim of this service is to provide advocacy and advice for foster and kinship carers, so that they can be supported in their caring role. This service is the first of its kind in the ACT and will operate at arm’s length from government and out of home care providers.
The Advocacy Support Service for Foster and Kinship Carers is currently being set up and will commence from Monday 15 August 2016, with the official launch to be held on Friday 26 August 2016.
From the 15 August 2016, Carers ACT can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0447 632 067.
If you have any questions, or for more information about A Step Up for Our Kids, please contact CBRstepsup@act.gov.au, contact Child and Youth Protection Services on 6207 4544 or visit www.act.gov.au/CBRstepsup