As at September 2018 there were 1717 children in kinship care placements in South Australia, representing 46% of all children in out-of-home care with an authority for placement (Department for Child Protection Reporting and Statistics). Year-by-year statistics for the period 30 June 2014 to 30 September 2018 show that, across a four-year period, the number of children in kinship care placements grew by 523. By comparison, the number of children in foster care placements as at September 2018 was 1,442, which represents 39% of children in out-of-home care with an authority for placement. Across the period June 2014 to September 2018 the number of children in foster care grew by 338.
These statistics show that kinship care is the largest form of family-based care for children in out-of-home care with an authority for placement in South Australia. They also show that the number of children entering kinship care placements over the last four years has grown almost fifty percent faster than the number entering foster care.
The Kinship CARE Project is a multi-layered, multi-dimensional implementation program that supports common language, common knowledge and a common approach to the therapeutic re-parenting of children in out-of-home-care who have experienced early trauma. Participants include kinship carers, kinship care support staff and psychology professionals. The Kinship CARE Project draws on the CARE Therapeutic Framework, which is both a model of therapeutic care and a practice framework for the promotion of trauma-informed care and trauma-informed practice. Additional information about the CARE Therapeutic Framework and the Kinship CARE Project can be found here.
The Kinship CARE Project incorporates continuous quality assurance and evaluation measures in support of fidelity to the ‘model’ and classification of the CARE Therapeutic Framework as ‘evidence based practice’ for:
- Establishing a common knowledge, language and approach among kinship carers, kinship care support workers, and psychologists who support both;
- Developing competencies related to trauma-informed, therapeutic re-parenting of children in kinship care, and competencies in the implementation of a practice framework that supports fidelity to the therapeutic re-parenting approach;
- Developing competencies in self-care;
- Supporting empowerment and self-efficacy in the respective roles of participants of the program; and
- Improving connections between kinship children and their carers (reduce placement breakdowns and support attachment security), and connections between kinship carers and Agency staff who work in the kinship care space.
The opportunity exists to further support trauma-informed care and practice in your organisation by undertaking an implementation project for the CARE Therapeutic Framework. If you represent an organisation that might be interested, do get in touch with me via my email at email@example.com.
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