ac.care Foster Care Program

Introducing the Community

ac.care Foster Care

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Photo source: ac.care

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Introducing the ac.care Foster Care Program

ac.care deliver a high quality, trauma-informed and best-practice foster care support program for children and caregivers across the Murraylands, Limestone Coast and Riverland regions. 

LBI Foundation has provided the ac.care Foster Care program capacity building support under the Care IMPACT strategy, as made practical through the IMPACT Program as tailored to Foster Care. The intent (or outcomes) and actions of this work is summarised below.

The capacity building support has been personalised to the ac.care Foster Care program. The ac.care program draws upon other best-practice therapeutic components (e.g., Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, TCI), and the IMPACT Program (and the intentional practice approach) is designed to strengthen this component. 

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What Have I learnt Through IMPACT?​

I’ve learnt how to consider what is ‘under the surface’ of a child’s difficult behaviour and to use that understanding to respond to their deeper needs and not just react to the behaviour. And how to use these moments for opportunities of growth.

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Using IMPACT Resources​

We regularly use the IMPACT Coach factsheets, videos and tools to help us have really meaningful and intentional coaching conversations with caregivers, and support them side-by-side to build their capacity to meet the needs of children.

Intent ('What')

Build a Wellbeing and Trauma Responsive Foster Care Community

Where Trauma-Responsive Practices are a Way of Thinking and Being

As Made Practical Through the Following Co-Designed Outcomes

Practitioners

To embed a professional, relationship focused and intentional practice culture, where support workers:

  • Intentionally respond (rather than react) to the caregiver’s individual needs in a relationship focused, trauma-responsive and personalised manner.  
  • Grow caregiver capacity through intentionally delivered support, side-by-side coaching and shared Growth Action Planning processes.
  • Work side-by-side with the care community, and empower all members to build a shared intent.
  • Have access to best-practice resources, tools and professional development activities on intentionally applying the science of wellbeing, trauma and growth. 

Foster Carers

To embed a trauma-responsive, therapeutic and growth focused caregiving environment and: 

  • Intentionally respond (rather than react) to children’s needs (e.g., trauma, growth developmental) in a personalised manner.  
  • Grow child capacity through intentionally delivered caregiving, side-by-side coaching, and shared Growth Action Planning processes (with child and care community).
  • Work side-by-side with the care community in shared intent. 
  • Maintain and build wellbeing and self-care for self and all family members. 
  • Have access to best-practice resources, tools and professional development activities on the science of wellbeing, trauma and growth. 

Children

For children to experience intentionally delivered relational and coaching experiences that grow: 

  • Feelings of safety and trust at all times.
  • Their awareness of self, others, world and future. 
  • Foundational social-emotional learning, meta-cognitive, self-regulation, independence and life skills. 
  • The mindsets, beliefs and attitudes associated with resilient whole-of-life outcomes. 
  • Their capacity to develop their own wellbeing, life and growth solutions (or wellbeing plans). 

Actions ('How')

Summary Actions of the Partnership Journey

  • Entire capacity building initiative is founded upon the science, research and practice of intentional practice, as made practical for therapeutic residential care settings (see this research article). 
  • Implementation underpinned by the Care IMPACT capacity building strategy.  
  • LBI Foundation Community Lead: Ivan Raymond. 
  • Whole-of-staff team Foundational IMPACT Training, with all support workers accredited to the IMPACT Coach level. 
  • Interested caregivers undertaking Foundational IMPACT Training.
  • One-on-one clinically focused coaching to caregivers (by a psychologist), as needed, and founded upon a Growth Action Planning process.
  • Foster carers having access to a rolling cycle of IMPACT specialist workshops and professional development sessions (face-to-face and online) delivered by LBI (for online see upcoming events). 
  • Key embedding strategies: What-What-How reflective practice in staff supervision and internal planning processes, side-by-side Growth Action Planning with caregivers in the home, rolling cycle of IMPACT specialist workshops and modules (delivered in home by IMPACT coaches and by LBI).
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