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Fostering is a way of offering a family home to a child or young person who, for various reasons, cannot remain with their birth family.
Fostering placements can last for any length of time and can be aimed at reuniting children with their birth families, or leading them towards independence or a permanent family placement option. Fostering can come as a result of many reasons; including illness, relationship problems, family breakdown, or a situation in which a child or young person’s well-being is threatened.
Foster carers provide children and young people with safe, secure and stable home lives when they cannot return to their birth families.
Foster carers are a diverse group of people from a wide range of backgrounds who are all working towards making a positive and lasting difference to children and young people in foster care.
Foster care placements
Foster care placements at Key Assets vary from child to child. Our main placements can be grouped into: emergency, short term, long term, respite, parent and child, remand and placements for children seeking asylum.
Many of the placement types at Key Assets are aimed at supporting children and young people with highly complex needs, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young peoples with specific cultural requirements. All of our placements are underpinned by Key Assets ‘s unique approach to fostering called Team Parenting™.
Team Parenting™ is a unique framework to foster care that acknowledges and supports high and complex needs as well as the cultural identities of all children and young people.
Team Parenting™ is an approach that draws together an exceptional level of support for foster carers across Australia based on the services provided by Social Workers, Education Officers, Therapists or Therapists and Support Workers.
Non-government fostering agencies
The role of a non-government agency like Key Assets is to work in collaboration and partnership with the local government body to provide high quality foster care services.
In Queensland, foster carers must legally be approved by the Department of Communities (Child Safety Services). However, all foster carers must be affiliated with a non-government agency for support and supervision.
In Western Australia, Key Assets approves its own foster carers and receives referrals from and adheres to the regulations of the Department for Child Protection.
In South Australia, all foster carers are registered with the Department for Families and Communities but receive day to day support from non-government agencies like Key Assets.
Due to the complex and demanding nature of the foster care placements that are referred to us, Key Assets is a ‘specialist’ non-government foster care agency.
The Department of Communities (Child Safety Services)
The Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) is the government body in Queensland with responsibility for the protection and welfare of children and young people across the state. It is also responsible for the funding (block or fee-for-service) of non-government agencies.
Key Assets works in partnership with the Department and benefits from regional representation at strategy forums. These include the Regional Action Planning Team (RAPT) in the South East region, the Fostering Agencies Network in the Brisbane Region and the South West Placement and Support Network in the South West region.
The Department for Child Protection
The Department for Child Protection is the government body in Western Australia who maintain statutory responsibility for children and young people in foster care. In Western Australia, the demand for fostering outstrips the ability of the Department to provide all family based and alternative care services. Non-government agencies like Key Assets work in partnership with them to fill the gap.
Key Assets works closely with Department colleagues to support foster carers and the children placed with them. Key Assets management attend bi-monthly meetings with the Department’s Accommodation and Care Services (ACS) and are positioned as a key agency within the Children’s Youth and Family Agencies Association (CYFAA) in Western Australia.
The Department for Families and Communities
The Department for Families and Communities is the government body in South Australia who retain the legal responsibility for children placed in foster care. We also work closely with a number of divisions within the Department for Families and Communities, including Contracts and Licensing, the Placement Service Unit, and Families SA.
Through our partnership with the Department for Families and Communities, we also attend regular meetings as a member of the Child and Family Welfare Association (CAFWA) and Joint Partnership, made up of a number of agencies who work with foster carers and children in South Australia.