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Aboriginal Kinship Care

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What is Aboriginal Kinship Care?

Aboriginal Kinship Care is an out-of-home care placement option providing family based care to Aboriginal children and young people who have been removed from the family home. An Aboriginal Kinship Carer provides a secure, stable and positive environment that caters for the physical and emotional needs of a child who is unable to live with their birth family. The main objective is to ensure Aboriginal children and young people are placed in a culturally responsive, safe, nurturing, stable and secure environment.

Kinship Carers agree that there are many benefits and joys to raising children, including the chance to:

• parent children, or parent children a second time

• be close to children as they grow

• enjoy children’s achievements and celebrate them together

• help children develop by spending time with them and teaching them

• teach children about their culture and family.

What are the benefits of becoming a Kinship Carer?

How will AFSS support me?

AFSS Kinship Care Liaison Officers will provide you with ongoing support and advocacy for as long as you are an AFSS Kinship Carer. AFSS also provides initial training for carers to introduce them to the Kinship Care system, the legal system and the financial support provided to Kinship Carers. As part of the process, you will also have to participate in mandatory training such as; Safe Environments, Infant Safety (if the child in your care is between 0-2 years of age), and First Aid.

What financial help will I recieve?

Becoming a Kinship Carer

When you become a Kinship Carer, it can be a time of very mixed feelings. You might feel relieved that the children will be emotionally and physically safe, happy and cared for with you. But you might also find it hard to go from being the ‘fun’ person in the children’s lives to being the person who has to set rules and boundaries. As an aunt, uncle, grandparent, sister, brother, friend or neighbour, you might also feel:

• grief at the death or disappearance of the children’s parent
• ‘loss’ of your family member or friend to an addiction
• anger at being placed in this situation
• shame at the current situation
• guilt that you’re somehow to blame
• anxiety and uncertainty about the future

Kinship Carers are volunteers who receive a subsidy from the government as a contribution to the child’s expenses. The payment consists of a basic subsidy and an additional allowance. The basic subsidy is a contribution towards general household expenses such as food, electricity, gas, telephone and entertainment and the additional allowance is for items such as pocket money, clothing, medical expenses and recurrent costs. In addition kinship carers also receive an educational allowance every school term which covers school fees, books and uniforms. Payments also depend on the child’s age and whether or not they have any special needs or disability.

"Kinship care is more stable for children than other types of foster care. It’s also good for children’s sense of belonging to be cared for by someone who knows them.“

To find out more about becoming a Kinship Carer please contact AFSS Aboriginal Kinship Care Manager Susie Crisa on:     8351 4502

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