Your December newsletter
Your December newsletter

Welcome to this special edition of our Newsletter.

Firstly, thank you for the valuable caring role you provide for the children and young people in your care and the trust you place in us to support and advocate on your behalf. It has been a big year for us, with more members and the introduction of even more ways to support you.  
The festive season can be an emotional time for families. Navigating where Christmas will be held, engaging with multiple family members and juggling with work or other demands. There have also been many families in our community affected by drought and bushfires which have had a significant impact. Be kind to yourselves – it’s called self care and it is important. Maybe it’s like the oxygen mask in the airplane. You are always told to put your own oxygen mask on first before you attend to others, make sure to put the mask on yourself.
Here are just a few highlights from 2019: 
  • The collective voice of over 2,000 carers gave us insights into what carers value and how we can better meet your needs. Take a look at your feedback and the report - NSW Carer Survey 2019
  • We continue to advocate with our funded service providers and the Department on a number of issues to ensure carers’ views and the voices of the children are heard.
  • All the training and resources we provide are free. We understand when caring for children and young people it is difficult to attend, so apart from face to face training, we offer webinars online which are recorded for you to view in your own time.
  • Carer Reference Groups and peer support groups continue to be established around the state so that we build networks in your communities. Find a local group or contact us for groups/meetings in your area.
  • An amazing Foster Care Week included picnics around the state.
  • Have a look at our research page – reports on training to support carers; recruiting carers for older children in out of home care; and more resources for carer, guardian and adoptive families.
On behalf of our team I wish you all a safe holiday season and all the best for the new year.
Miriam Moloney
Head of Advocacy, Engagement and Operations  

Industry update

Community Services Checks for carers authorised before June 2015
Since June 2015 all potential new carers and relevant household members have had to have a Community Services Check. A Community Services Check is a review of relevant information about an individual held by the Department of Communities and Justice (formerly FACS). The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended checks be carried out for all carers and their adult household members. In response to this recommendation checks will be carried out by DCJ on carers and relevant household members who were authorised before June 2015, and who are still active. If you have any concerns or questions in relation to this, please call your agency caseworker directly.

Latest Campaigns

Caring for children with special needs
Tuesday 3rd December was International Day of People with a Disability and we took the opportunity to reach out to people who might consider caring for a child with special needs.  It was a great opportunity to talk to carers Like Sue and Neil Coutts, who have fostered more than 60 children and Barbara Wallisch, who in 23 years has fostered over 40 children, some with special needs and disabilities.
There is a shortage of foster carers for children with special needs, if you think you could help, please contact us to find out more.  

You talked and we listened

Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. The results will inform our ongoing efforts to better support carers and the children they care for. 
The NSW Carer Survey 2019 Report of Findings provides a snapshot of carer perceptions of services for the children and young people in their care.
Download report

Free Australian Childhood Foundation Online Trauma Training

We are pleased to partner with the Australian Childhood Foundation to provide you with an online trauma training program. This training has been designed for carers to explore some of the core theories of trauma and its impacts and translating that knowledge into practical approaches. 
This training is offered free to the first 1,000 carers. 


If you have been putting off reading that book or doing that training course you were interested in, catch up over the Christmas break.
We have a range of online training courses and webinars available on our website and an online library to acess ebooks and audio books.
To view all available training and library resources, visit our website.

Low Cost Family Holiday Fun

Finding things to do to keep everyone occupied during the holidays can be hard. To help you find fun activities in your area, we’ve put together a guide for the school holidays. Remember to book in early!  
Find out more

Live, Learn, Grow at The University of Newcastle 

The Live, Learn, Grow program is a year-long, on-campus program offering resources and support to assist people with a care experience, and young people currently in out of home care (OOHC), to participate in university education. If you know someone who could benefit from practical assistance and support to go to university, please share this with them.
Download flyer

FAQ & Carer Reference Groups

Our customer support team are often asked how they can help children in their transition to school. For some, starting school can be overwhelming as they move to a structured day but add to that, a child that may be in a new environment or suffering the effects of trauma… it’s a whole new ballgame.
To help you manage the transition, Helen Montgomery from the Northern Carer Reference Group (CRG) has put together some tips to support the child in your care.
Our Carer Reference Groups (CRGs) are an opportunity for you, as authorised carers, to have a say about how to improve the experience of being a carer in your region.
Find out more

Seeking volunteers  

We’re looking for a superstar volunteer for the Western region of NSW. Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can partake in. If you have had experience as a carer or adoptive parent and relevant work experience, we want to hear from you.
Find out more

Team Member Profile

Name: Raelene Sousa
Position: Carer Support and Recruitment

What does a normal day at My Forever Family NSW look like for you?

My phone never stops. Every day is different as all calls represent different enquiries for the families we deal with.
My role is to advocate and support carers to achieve the best outcomes for all. I make sure I always listen so that carers feel heard and provide them with tools  to continue this fostering journey.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Knowing that carers are being heard and can seek support and guidance to help with the day to day role of being a carer. I recently helped a carer with a teleconference and then they felt empowered enough by my support, before and after, to attend the next meeting on their own.

What is your favourite location in NSW and why?

Illawarra Shoalhaven as this is my hometown and I can make a difference to our fostering community.

Office Close Period

We will be closed from Monday 23 December to Friday 3rd January inclusive.
If you require support during this period, please contact your foster care agency.
If you have a child protection emergency, please call the child protection helpline on 132 111

The My Forever Family NSW newsletter is produced by the Communications team. 

If you would like to contribute, have your say or simply ask a question, please 
Contact us
Disclaimer: The information and advice provided in this document/website is general information. It may not apply to a particular case, and as such, must not be taken as legal advice.
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