Considerations for supporting children, carers & families during remote contact visits

In these uncertain times, it’s understandable that carers may be feeling elevated concerns about how to manage the changing expectations of contact with family members. As a therapeutic service, Take Two offers this guidance in managing the heightened emotions and thoughts of children in the out-of-home care (OOHC) system in these times. We also provide a list of some free video calling apps and programs that might be suitable to use.

Continue reading “Considerations for supporting children, carers & families during remote contact visits”

Parents and carers: be kind to yourself

This an unpredictable and uncertain time for everyone. With schools closing many parents and carers are wondering how they are going to cope for long periods at home with the children and young people in their care.

It’s the same as what they tell you on planes. You need to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others. It’s a huge struggle to care for children if we neglect to look after ourselves. While you may think: ‘easier said than done’ – it really does make a difference.

Here are 4 steps you can follow to help you be kind to yourself.

Continue reading “Parents and carers: be kind to yourself”

Creating a soothing new household rhythm in uncertain times

Predictable activities, rhythms and routines make children and young people feel more secure, safer and cared for. With a little bit of planned structure, children are less likely to feel caught unawares. They will know what to expect.

This is especially important for children in out-of-home care who may be more likely to feel that the world is an unsafe place.

In the current COVID-19 situation with no school and big changes to their daily lives, many children, carers and families are struggling to find a new and reassuring rhythm to their days.

Continue reading “Creating a soothing new household rhythm in uncertain times”

Childhood Conversations Pilot Program – Session 4

We are continuing our focus on 21st century childhood. shutterstock_93772915

We are now turning our reflections to Education & Technology. 

In particular, we are looking closely at access to technology and how information about family is shared. 

When we looked back at our own childhoods, people talked about the T.V. being the only  form of technology that most people had in their house. Cartoons were watched after school and on Saturday mornings, and movies were watched with the whole family.

Generally, information about family was shared in an annual family newsletter, sent in letters or discussed over the telephone. 

What role is technology playing in 21st century childhood? shutterstock_74859610

How is information about children and families now being shared with extended family and friends? Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know what you think of these changes. 

 

Post written by: Julie Noonan, School Engagement Co-ordinator, Berry Street Childhood Institute

Childhood Conversations Pilot Program – Session 2

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Continuing our retrospective trip back in time to the era in which you were a child…

We are still focussing on Family Environment. Let’s have a conversation about where you believed that children ‘fit’ within the family unit when you were growing up.

My personal experience was that there was a very clear family hierarchy, with dad firmly at the top!

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As children, we were expected to be respectful and to do as we were told. The phrase “children are seen and not heard” was a good indication of how families operated during that time.

What are your perceptions of how children ‘fit’ within the family unit when you were a child? Please share your ideas!

Post written by: Julie Noonan, School Engagement Co-ordinator, Berry Street Childhood Institute

Family Drug Treatment Court

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The first Family Drug Treatment Court (FDTC) in Australia launched in Melbourne earlierthis year.

The FDTC is a non-adversarial or problem-solving court model and its aim is to promote family reunification or earlier permanent care decisions for families where parental substance misuse is a major contributing factor of children being placed in out-of-home care.

Whilst participants are engaged in the FDTC, they are supported to address and own their substance misuse and recovery. Intensive clinical case management and wrap-around support is provided by a multi-disciplinary team to address any number of overlapping and complex issues including substance misuse, mental health, housing, family violence, financial and parenting issues.

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Conference delegates will have the opportunity to hear prominent international speakers Justice Peggy Hora and Megan Wheeler, who have years of operational experience in the FDTC sector in the US, discuss why the FDTC works and what intensive case management is all about in this particular practice setting.

There is also the opportunity to sign up for Master Classes to engage even more in depth with specific topics such as development and implementation of FDTC, evaluating success of FDTC, and the intersection between child protection and the FDTC.

Early bird tickets are available until October 17, so don’t miss out!

Childhood Conversations Pilot Program – Session 1

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What makes a good childhood? 

The ‘Childhood Conversations’ Pilot Program seeks to engage parents of Victorian children in conversation about 21st century childhoods, in order to increase their understanding and awareness of what sustains a good childhood; and empower them to find solutions and advocate for change.

Take a trip back in time with us to the era in which you were a child…

Whether this took place in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, there are often common elements that typify or mark the era in which we grew up. 

We are looking at the Family Environment and in particular ‘Family structure and work/life balance’.

My experience of growing up in the 70’s was that the nuclear family was the norm and there were strongly defined mother/father roles. Parents (fathers in particular) seemed to work long hours but the hours were predictable. Family life seemed to be able to be structured around work hours.

What are your perceptions of how families were structured and parent’s work/life balance when you were growing up?shutterstock_123839083
We would love to hear from you!

Post written by: Julie Noonan, School Engagement Co-ordinator, Berry Street Childhood Institute