Key Assets values the work of Foster Carers and the contribution they make to the lives of children and young people. Appropriate support for the families who foster is vitally important to a successful placement. Key Assets provides creative and flexible support arrangements for children/young people and their Foster Carers. Identifying and arranging the necessary level of support occurs when a child/young person and foster family are ‘matched’ at the placement planning stage. This support is then monitored and adjusted throughout the placement.
Key Assets views this package as a positive way of ensuring that Foster Carers are fully supported and that placements are successful. Children and young people referred to the agency may have experienced many rejections and Key Assets attempts to minimise this happening again. Foster Carers joining Key Assets are expected to be resilient and be prepared to work hard in what can be difficult circumstances.
Key Assets offers the following support to its foster carers:
- Access to a member of Key Assets staff 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days of the year.
- Supervision and support from qualified and suitably experienced Key Assets Social Workers/Key Workers.
- Frequent visits and regular telephone contact from the Key Assets Social Worker.
- Paid supportive respite.
- Regular, facilitated support group meetings.
- Membership of the Foster Care Association of Victoria – providing access to advocacy and resources.
- Organised social, cultural, sporting and educational activities for children/young people and carers.
- A comprehensive post-approval training programme.
- A level of financial support that values the skills of Foster Carers, in line with the fostering allowance rates set by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
- Children’s support workers to work with children and young people, especially if they are not attending school.
- An Education Officer to support Foster Carers in negotiating with schools and promoting children/young people’s educational needs.
- Therapists who provide expert guidance and support to Foster Carers of children/young people who are experiencing serious emotional difficulties. Individual therapy is offered to children and young people for whom it is appropriate and where the necessary consent is given.