This Foster Care Week we join in the call for carers to be supported with the basics such as birth certificates and Medicare cards, to be unburdened by the financial pressure to pay for health and education expenses that aren’t covered by the care allowance.
Increasing staffs’ practice skills and capabilities while supporting families
Common Elements is being trialled with practitioners in OzChild’s family services and foster care teams in Frankston and within just a few short weeks more harmonious environments are being achieved in households where communication would often result in conflict.
Aimed at improving family communication skills this new trial, introduced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has already begun to produce some fantastic outcomes for families in need of additional support.
Jane* and her 10 year old son Nathan* were struggling to communicate, in most instances when they did communicate the conversation regularly escalated to yelling, verbal abuse and on occasion, Nathan would become aggressive, throwing items at his mum.
With the help of the Common Elements program, an OzChild practitioner conducted a family communication session, teaching important ground rules and techniques to improve Jane and Nathan’s ability to communicate.
Since working with the OzChild practitioner, Jane has not reported a single incident which has been an excellent outcome for the family, this has allowed the practitioner to focus on other issues without risking escalations.
The Common Elements project, launched by DHHS in 2019, involves evidence informed common practice elements (or common elements) which are techniques used to engage clients and to facilitate changes in attitudes or behaviours.
The program has been crucial in increasing staffs’ practice skills and capabilities – which have become all the more important due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis – meaning they can rely more on their interpersonal skills and engagement with families, and less on face to face engagement.
OzChild is one of a number of agencies currently trialing the project. We look forward to sharing more stories of the positive outcomes being achieved through this trial.
In Victoria, the growth in OOHC is the fastest in the nation – a grim reality for the state which has endured the harshest and longest lockdowns. With more than 45,000 children already in OOHC across Australia, an additional 4,500 children are estimated to enter OOHC because of the pandemic – put simply, we do not have enough carers.
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