9 April 2018
In a first for Queensland, an internationally successful program will provide an alternative for children experiencing multiple foster care placement breakdowns and in danger of being placed into residential care due to problem behaviours.
A national provider of children, young people and family support services, OzChild will deliver the evidenced-based Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) for Children in the Toowoomba region later in 2018.
OzChild’s Chief Executive Officer Lisa Griffiths said the organisation was looking forward to working with the Queensland Government’s Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW) to deliver the innovative TFCO program.
“We are pleased to be able to support the children and families of south-west Queensland through the TFCO for Children program,” Ms Griffiths said.
“We all know children do best when in a family, or family-like situation, but unfortunately sometimes those break down and at present there are few options beyond residential care. The TFCO program is designed to get the children back into a stable, family life.”
Backed by over 30 years of demonstrated success in the United States, UK and New Zealand, TFCO is an intensive short term treatment program that works with children, carers and a dedicated professional support team to prevent children from placement in residential care as well as supporting children to return to permanent care from a residential placement.
The TFCO program positively influences children’s behaviour by teaching new ways to control emotions, develop interpersonal skills, and encourages participation in positive social activities within their community. On completion of the program the children are reunited with their birth families, kinship carers or long-term foster carers who also receive continued support once the child leaves the program.
“In Oregon where the TFCO program was developed they have seen amazing results for the children going through the program,” Ms Griffiths said.
“The children spend significantly more time living with their family, and the participants have higher rates of school attendance than those who don’t complete the program.
“The program delivers intensive support to the child, foster carer and birth family and has demonstrated success in transforming their behaviour, making it possible for children to settle into a stable family environment.”
Foster carers in TFCO are given specialist training and then are closely guided and supervised by a professional team as they help a foster child aged between 7 and 11 years old, over the 9 – 12 month program.
“OzChild has been successfully delivering TFCO in Victoria for the past 12 months and is looking forward to changing the lives of the children and families of the Toowoomba region,” Ms Griffiths said.
To find out more about the TFCO program visit the OzChild website.
For more information on becoming a TFCO foster carer call 1800 870 070.