The purpose of this handbook
The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with information to support you in your important role as a kinship or foster carer. It specifically relates to caring for a child who is involved with CYPS and/or ACT Together in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
By providing this information, we aim to help you be informed about your role and responsibilities in caring for a child, and where to go for help and support.
Specifically, this handbook will tell you about:
- what to expect as a kinship or foster carer
- how the out of home care system works in the ACT
- caring for a child who has experienced trauma
- different aspects of care – such as finance, decision-making, health, culture, education, relationships, transition and much, much more
- working with CYPS and ACT Together case managers and staff
- the importance of looking after yourself
- the supports and services available to you and the child in your care to make life easier.
Throughout this handbook, you will also find useful resources that provide further information about a particular topic. There is also a glossary to explain terminology you will likely come across during your time as a carer. An ‘early days of caring’ checklist is also included that will immediately help you during your first week as a carer.
There is a lot of information in this handbook but as each care situation is different, some matters need individual responses. If you cannot find an answer to your question or concern, please discuss it with your case manager and consider the services listed under ‘Supports and services’. This handbook is intended as a guide only and you are encouraged to seek advice from your case manager regarding your particular circumstances where necessary.
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