Aboriginal Foster Care

Abcare is a fully accredited Out of Home Care (OOHC) provider, meeting the accreditation requirements of the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care. The OOHC Care program seeks to improve the quality of care that Aboriginal kids in care experience in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Clarence Valley areas.

The program promotes foster caring and kinship caring to Aboriginal families and recruits and supports carers. The OOHC program to develops case plans and cultural care plans, find families of Aboriginal kids in care, and engage families in programs to support kids to remain with their birth families.

Abcare provide a range of statutory care which includes emergency, respite, short term, restoration, kinship care and long term.

Our OOHC team provide ongoing carer support and training. We have Aboriginal assessors who assess our potential carer’s.

Many of our children in the Out of Home Care program have been removed from their traditional nation and are placed off Country as a result. At Abcare we understand the importance of Culture and identity of our children. This nurtures their social, emotional, and spiritual development.

Abcare work on Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung, and Yaegl Country, and are aware that 68% of children in our care live off Country. It is Abcare’s goal to ensure that every child in our care is provided the opportunity to be reconnected to their Family, Country, Culture, Community, and History. The journey will provide the child access to their true Aboriginal identity and give them a sense of belonging. As such we have designed a program around the return to Country and reconnection of our children to their Traditional Aboriginal Nations.

Kids on Country is an individualised program that is child focussed. It works on the needs and strengths of each child on their cultural journey. All children and young people in our foster care program will be supported and engaged in the Kids on Country program to develop and grow their cultural knowledge and sense of belonging in their Aboriginal community. This process will be supported through Cultural Mentoring and ongoing support by their Aboriginal Mentor. This will include a complete reconnection to their Traditional Nation where they will be welcomed home. Each of the children and young people will have a comprehensive annual Cultural Plan review and family finding completed to support and enhance their knowledge of family and assisted for engagement in their Aboriginal culture.

Annual Cultural Camps are arranged to grow and support the development our children and young people at Abcare. Our children and young people are identified through the mentoring program to experience the diversity of Aboriginal Culture around Australia. Cultural Camps are targeted to support both Women’s and Men’s business with appropriate mentors to support our young Women and Men on their personal and Cultural journey.

Cultural programs are run throughout the year with a focus on growing and nurturing the cultural skills and knowledge of our children and young people at Abcare. These programs are focussed on cultural respect, knowledge, sharing, storytelling and healing. Abcare’s cultural programs include Didgeridoo playing, Didgeridoo painting and burning, traditional painting, cultural Jewellery Making and weaving, Boomerang throwing, Little women’s cooking and mentoring, Young men’s fishing and mentoring and surfing healing program. Our programs are delivered by Aboriginal Men and Women who pass on skills and knowledge in the traditional way of role modelling and storytelling.

Abcare’s Cultural Mentor works one on one with our children and young people to support and develop their Cultural understanding and identity.

Mentoring sessions vary in time and frequency to support individuals in developing, growing skills, and knowledge of their Aboriginal Culture. The intensive mentoring sessions will focus on cultural respect and gaining knowledge of their Ancestors and Traditional Nations. It will include sharing of stories and skills that promote self-confidence and a sense of belonging.

Abcare’s Cultural Mentor creates, reviews and implements all the children and young people cultural care plans. This is done in consultation with the child or young person’s Aboriginal family and community. Where age appropriate our children are involved in their cultural planning to ensure the voice of each child or young person is heard.


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