Ideas and opportunities on guardianship support
Tuesday 15 September
The first of three rounds of community workshops on developing a new model of guardianship support for Aboriginal children and their families was held at the end of August in the Hunter and South West Sydney.
AbSec is hosting these COVID-safe community workshops after guardians told us about their experiences with the shift to guardianship and not being eligible for ongoing assistance and support from the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) or an out-of-home care agency.
From these workshops, we hope to establish a network of available services, supports and resources to be delivered by Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to ensure that these Aboriginal children have access to the supports they and their families need to thrive.
The first workshops focused on ideas and opportunities and canvased the views of guardians, carers and their supporters across a range of key areas. They opened by discussing life as a guardian. This was a wide-ranging topic that encompassed people’s thoughts and feedback about when they first became a guardian and moved onto many of the important aspects of caring for kids on guardianship orders such as strengthening family and community relationships, cultural supports, kid’s ongoing wellbeing needs, access to better information and networks and other areas important to them.
A summary of themes was developed with many of them relating to culture, family and accessing support. The most fruitful discussions came when looking for opportunities for change as all attendees had many exciting and different suggestions for not just supports and services but also improving processes and information sharing.
The workshops were extremely informative in advising the process of developing new supports and services for those on guardianship orders and on top of this, attendees were also able to benefit from meeting in a group together and being provided with the opportunity to learn from each other.
It was also particularly useful for everyone there to talk through the insights gained from each other’s journeys from their interactions with DCJ centres and caseworkers to completing everyday tasks like schooling, family tasks, managing friendships and accessing health services.
There was overwhelmingly positive feedback about the workshops with guardians informing of how beneficial it is to have their stories listened to and validated.
There will be two more workshops, in both the Hunter and South West Sydney, to build a support model that fits within the allocated budget and addresses the needs raised by guardians.
Workshop 2: Developing Guardianship Supports & Services
For guardians and their supporters, carers, Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal organisations and their workers.
- Wednesday 23 September – 10am–2.30pm at Novotel Newcastle Beach
- Thursday 24 September – 10am–2.30pm at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Workshop 3: Service Design for Guardianship Support
For guardians and their supporters, carers, Aboriginal community members and Aboriginal organisations and potential service providers.
- Tuesday 20 October – 10am–2.30pm at Novotel Newcastle Beach
- Thursday 22 October – 10:30am–3.00pm at Liverpool City Library