Out of Homecare Intensive Prevention Program

What:

ID Know Yourself – out of home care intensive prevention program works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who have been identified as not ensuring the safety for their child or young person. It will be an intensive mentoring 3-month (5 days a week) program, that will provide the basics and essentials that are required for the parent/s to keep the young person within their protection and they will know their responsibilities to provide safety of the child/young person and enabling them to succeed and flourish in their lives as a family.

Within the program there will be activities such as; cultural caring, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, hygiene and essential and basic parents’ skills needed to rare a child/young person.

Why:

Children and young people growing up in OOHC often experience significant disadvantage through the course of their life.  This is particularly the case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) children and young people, who are significantly over-represented in the OOHC system compared to non-Aboriginal children:

  •          Aboriginal children are 9.8 times more likely to be living in OOHC than non-Aboriginal children
  •          Half of Aboriginal children in care are not being placed with Aboriginal carers and this rate is rising
  •          Overall rates of OOHC for Aboriginal children have continued to grow since 1997 and it is predicted that the population of Aboriginal children in care will more than triple in size by 2036.

There are currently no prevention mentoring programs that exist in this space. If we truly want to break the cycle and stop the alarming numbers of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people entering the out of home care system, we must invest into solutions that provide a holistic and culturally safe place and that prevent the cycle from even starting.

How:

When a family is targeted by Family and Community Services, and the Police is contacted about an issue regarding the safety of a child. ID Know Yourself will also be contacted to seek the involvement and opportunity for the parent/s to be mentored – case by case among the severity of the issue. The young person/child will be placed in a safe place at the ID Know Yourself family safe house. In the meantime, an Aboriginal culturally appropriate circle sentencing process will be made with the parents and their family, including two Elders, a judge, police, FACS, ID Know Yourself prevention team.

If ID Know Yourself seeks the opportunity to work with the family, ID Know Yourself will include mentoring and the required support to the child/young person whilst the parents are being motivated and empowered.

ID Know Yourself will be focusing on four key elements of the prevention program;

-          Culture

-          Safety

-          Responsibility

-          Love

Where:

Program days will be run: Monday – Friday

Time: 9am – 4pm

Where: Yallamundi, 145 Cleveland Street Darlington NSW 2008

Who:

The ID Know Yourself prevention staff;

-          Elder in-Residence, Aunty Glendra Stubbs. Aunty as over 30 years’ experience dealing with young people in OOHC. She co-founded and became the CEO of Link Up, a support service for Aboriginal people who have been directly affected by past government policies and separated from their families and culture through forced removal, being fostered, adopted or raised in institutions. Aunt also was part of the Royal Commission into 'OOHC' and she currently is the ‘on call’ Aunty for the NCIE - National Centre of Aboriginal Excellence in Redfern.

For the program participants, Aunty Glendra will provide support and advice on cultural practices within the home to create a culturally safe place and keep the young person connected to culture, safety and love to be within the homes.

-          Prevention Mentor, Jodie has worked as an early childhood educator for over 30years, with the combined experience of raising a family of 8. This giving Jodie the opportunity, passion and skills to use in her current consulting business, 'Back to basics' - advice for families and raising children

Jodie believes it takes a community to raise a child and that we all need to support the next generation as best we can. Her philosophy is that all children need a strong sense of belonging, opportunities to build resilience, positive role models and develop a wide range of skills as they develop into adulthood. This can be the difference from merely surviving or thriving.

"I have seen first hand (when two amazing teenagers joined my family) the hardships of being in the foster care system and not being given the opportunities to identify with your Aboriginal culture and form a strong sense of belonging".

Jodie understands that learning about Indigenous cultures and valuing the importance of passing on this information to enrich lives is so important and that a child's character can be strengthened by knowing, learning and living with appreciation of ones culture.

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