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In this edition

Look who's become a grandmother!
Lessons from the IFCO Conference 2015
2015 Foster & Kinship Carer Excellence Awards winners
Professional Development & Networking Opportunities
FREE Christmas Gift Card Template
Practical Tools for Carers
CREATE Young People in Care Awards
12 Tips of Christmas from Kidsafe NT
What's On

It’s been a very exciting few weeks with the Foster and Kinship Carer Excellence Awards hosted by the Minister for Children and Families, the Honorable Mr John Elferink.

Excellence Awards have been awarded to nine Northern Territory carers for ‘excellence in the role of caring for children’ and we give our most sincere congratulations to all. It was an extremely difficult task this year and as one of the judging panel I am very proud to have been a part of this event.   This year we had over 40 nominations across the Territory which is a clear testament and recognition of foster and kinship carers within our community.  Each year the carers names are engraved onto a plaque which is proudly displayed in the Foster Carers Association NT offices in Darwin.  

With Christmas quickly approaching, it’s a wonderful time of year to have children around, so much excitement with Christmas carols playing in the background, hunting for a ‘special Christmas gift’, secret whispers and gift wrapping and most importantly Christmas is a time when everyone thinks of others.
 
 
“Faith makes all things possible,
Hope makes all things work,
Love makes all things beautiful,
May you have all three this Christmas.”

Best wishes for a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year and enjoy your time with family and loved ones from all of us at Foster Carers Association NT, Ann, Bianca, Ingrid, Cath, Lucja & Roz  xx
The Foster Carers Association NT offices will be closed from Monday, 21 December 2015 and will reopen on Monday, 4 January 2016. 
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We have been busy updating our website over the past few months. Check it out and let us know what you think!
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Look who has become a grandmother!

Yes Ann and Trevor officially joined the grandparent ranks on 14 October 2015 with the birth of Olivia.

During her recent leave she enjoyed a cuddle from this beautiful bundle of joy. From the look of Olivia she is pretty relaxed in her grandmothers arms.

Congratulations to Ann & Trevor and of course Trevor's daughter and son in law.  

Lessons from the IFCO Conference 2015

The IFCO 2015 18th World Conference in Sydney was extremely informative, each presentation we attended added significant value to our day to day work with carers. The ability to meet and network with people from different parts of the world was excellent. Over the three days we connected with more than 950 participants who are actively involved in child, family and youth services across all states of Australia and worldwide. 

L-R  Maree Jones, Ann Owen, Catherine Collier, Melanie Smith, Lyndon Ross, Rosalyn Havard, Larissa Jackson, Sue Price, Lucja Wajs
The Welcome to Country and opening to the conference was sung to the guests by Deborah Cheetham, an Aboriginal Australian soprano and was a very inspiring performance.

The session with Professor of Social Work at the School of Social Sciences, at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, Elizabeth Fernandez was exceptionally interesting. Professor Fernandez delivered a session on “Long term Outcomes of Older Care Leavers” and presented her current research study being undertaken, attempting to develop an understanding of the range of experiences in care and after care (invited to participate in the research are Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants and members of the Stolen Generations). Using a mixed methods approach, this national research explores the range of experiences and outcomes for those who experienced residential and foster care, and transitioned out of care, as there is a national concern about the trauma the children endured during their time in care.
This research fills the gap in knowledge about the care leavers who lived in care in Australia and will assist in developing responsive services to improve the care leavers’ current and future health and wellbeing. We invite you to read about the details of this research at www.forgottenaustralians.unsw.edu.au
An interesting session on 'Permanency planning: stable life journeys' was presented by Lynn Moggach, under the title 'Adoption from care after traumatic abuse and neglect: A 30 years study of open adoption in Australia'. We have learnt that a landmark study is currently underway on the experience of children, young people and adults who have been adopted from care following severe abuse and neglect. This is the first Australian study of open adoption from care. The research is being undertaken by Barnardos, Australia Centre for Excellence in Open Adoption in partnership with Professor Harriet Ward from University of Loughborough and with assistance from University of Technology Sydney. 

Another presenter whom carers and staff attending the conference found particularly interesting was Nathan Wallis from the Brain Wave Trust in New Zealand.
New and current research based knowledge shared by Nathan provided a better understanding of how teenagers think and why, how adults can improve relationships with the young people they care for and offered smarter ways to respond to teenagers sometimes puzzling behaviour.
Nathan provides an overview of the adolescent brain on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon show (4 July 2013). Nathan talks about adolescent risk taking behaviour, decision making, drugs and alcohol and their effect on the teenage brain, and the impacts of technology and social media. Carers seeking further parenting strategies on ways to help an adolescent build their frontal cortex (thinking or rational brain) should listen to the podcast on www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2560924/parenting-with-nathan-mikaere-wallis.

Four NT carers were sponsored by Foster Carers Association NT to attend the conference to expand their knowledge and provide an awesome opportunity to network with other carers. We look forward to sharing their experiences in the February newsletter.

Congratulations to our Carers!

Congratulations to the wonderful carers who received awards at the Foster and Kinship Carer Excellence award ceremonies in Katherine, Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.
2015 Foster and Kinship Carer Excellence Award recipients
The following carers received awards recognising the provision of outstanding care: Phillipa Cosgrove, Dom Crea, Julie Crea, Kristy Bazevski, Matthew McKinlay, Rosslyn Weetra, Adrian McDonald, Christine Pilbrow and Jonathan Pilbrow
Service Awards
5 Years
Rosslyn Weetra and Adrian McDonald, Phillipa Cosgrove and Allan Borg, Lorraine Brock, Helen McColley, Ellen Hankin, Charmaine Dittman, Sulastri Williams, Sandra and Robert Duncan, Kelly and Victor Williams, 
Katherine Todhunter and Rhean Bates, Victoria Davenport, Frances Story, Maureen and Henry Klimzack, Pena Pepperill and Ivan Emitja, Veronica Gorey and 

Mack Murphy, Pauline Turner, Jacinta Boniwell, Alison Isaacson

10 Years
Paula Humes, Melissa Adamson-Durston, Sue and Ian Shepherd, Anne Marie Smith

15 Years
Louisa and Ian Castle, Branka Raymond

Professional Development & Networking opportunities

FREE St John Ambulance – Provide Emergency First Aid in an Education and Care Setting
Legal Issues, Infection Control, DRSABCD Action Plan, Managing the Unconscious Breathing Casualty, Resuscitation (CPR), Defibrillation, Choking, First Aid Kits, Shock, Wounds and Bleeding, Burns, Chest Pain, Medical Management Plans, Asthma, Asthma Risk Minimisation, Allergic reactions and Anaphylaxis, Anaphylaxis Risk. Minimisation, Safety and Risk Management, Fractures, Sprains, Strains, Dislocations Head, Neck and Spinal Injuries, Chest and Abdominal Injuries, Facial and Eye Injuries, Heat Induced Illness/ Cold Induced Illness, Poisons, Bites and Stings, Other Medical Emergencies. 

Darwin
When: 25-26 February 2016 @ 8.15am-5.30pm 
Where: St John Ambulance, Dripstone Rd, Casuarina
Alice Springs
When: 25-26 February 2016 @ 8.15am-5.30pm
Where: St John Ambulance, Alchurch St, Alice Springs.


Members FREE. Book now: info@fostercarers.org.au or (08) 8945 3364
Katherine Carers Social Networking Group
Lucja, together with Michelle Barry from CREATE, will be hosting a get together for the Katherine carers in February. Please mark the date in your calendar. Venue and time to be advised.

When: Saturday 27 February 2016 
Where: Venue to be confirmed.
Contact: lucja.wajs@fostercarers.org.au or (08) 8945 3364
Darwin Information Session - Anxiety and anger in children: Emotional responses to stress 
Dr. Diane Szarkowicz will present an enlightening session on the issues surrounding anger and anxiety in children as an emotional response to stress.
Diane is a registered psychologist and teacher. She is an adjunct senior lecturer in psychology at Charles Stuart University and works as a private practice child psychologist in Darwin.

When: Tuesday, 1 March 2016 @ 6.00-8.00pm
Where: Venue to be confirmed.
Contact: catherine.collier@fostercarers.org.au or (08) 8945 3364

Practical Tools for Carers

Out of Home Care Toolbox
The Out of Home Care Toolbox is a resource for carers. It provides tailored information and guidance. Check it out at oohctoolbox.org.au
Playful Ways to Teach Deep Breathing
Here’s a selection of the best ideas the authors of Encourage Play website have found for deep breathing.Check them out at encourageplay.com/blog/playful-ways-to-teach-deep-breathing
How to Talk to Kids and Teens About World Trauma
In this day and age of social media and live broadcasting it is hard to know how stories and images of traumatic world events are being received by our children. Check out this article posted recently by Hey Sigmund out at heysigmund.com/how-to-talk-to-kids-and-teens-about-world-trauma/


Download your Free Christmas Gift Tags now!


The Department of Children and Families have developed this fun Christmas Gift Tag template for your enjoyment.

Cut them out, colour them in your favourite Christmas colours and attach them to your gifts.

Please download the template here.

CREATE –Young People Achievements In Care Awards

Nominations are now open to children between 5-17 years who are currently in foster carer or who have had a care experience of more than 6 months in Alice Springs. The awards will be held on 20 January in Alice Springs. Last year our advocate Rosalyn Havard was invited to present an award at the awards ceremony and enjoyed hearing about the awesome achievements of children and young people in care. 
There are four categories for nomination:
1.    Creativity Award          2.    Sporting Award
3.    Education Award         4.    Most Deadly Award
So carers start nominating NOW! Nominations close 11th January 2016. For more information contact Tania or Damon on 8953 8358.

12 Tips of Christmas from Kidsafe NT

Christmas is a busy time when it’s all too easy to overlook some potential dangers to children. Here are a few tips to assist in making child safety a priority so you can play it safe this festive season. 

1. Buy a fire resistant tree and decorations and keep it anchored secured so it won’t topple over easily
2. Toy safety considerations – when picking gifts this year, remember to consider the 5S’s:
  • Size – the smaller the child the bigger the toy should be (anything that fits through the inside of a toilet roll is too small for a child under 3 years!)
  • Shape – give toys a miss for small children if they have any sharp edges oy may be too easily swallowed
  • Surface – make sure all finishes to toys selected are non-toxic and meet Australian Standards
  • Strings – anything over 30cm is considered a strangulation hazard so safely remove any attachments like this
  • Supervision – nothing can replace keeping a watchful eye over your children in preventing injury and purchase toys that are age appropriate for your kids
3. Avoid using small, sharp and delicate tree ornaments that look like sweets or could be a choking hazard to young children
4. Many small electronic items such as singing cards and books, remote controlled toys and electric candles may contain small button batteries.  These possess a serious risk to young children if swallowed so supervise their use and lock them away after use.  For more info you can visit; www.thebatterycontrolled.com.au
5. Have a road tripped planned during the festive season? Then make sure your child’s car restraints are correctly fitted and installed and adjust their straps if shoulders have reached the next marker level or call Kidsafe NT to make an appointment today on 8941 8234.
6. Don’t forget to lock-up or keep out of reach all poisons and chemicals this festive season.  Some may easily be mistaken for a colourful festive treat or drink or treat by your kids and if you have any questions you can call Poisons information on 13 11 26 or of course 000 in an emergency situation!
7. Popping to the shops for some last minute bargains?  If you have to leave your car, even for a minute, ALWAYS take your child with you. The temperature inside a car can quickly reach between 50-70 degrees in less than 10 minutes and turns any car into an oven.  See the video here: www.theunconventionaloven.com.au
8. Is Santa bringing your child a new bike, scooter or skateboard this Christmas? Don’t forget to protect their precious minds with a helmet and other safety gear
9. Remember to remove all empty and partially empty cups of alcohol as soon as possible after your festive season celebrations
10. Ensure children play in safer areas away from the driveway and cars
11. Christmas lights and candles are a normal part of the festive season but make sure you check your lights each year for faults before using and never leave an open flame unattended or within reach of small hands
12. Spending time by the pool this festive season? If you have a backyard pool and are expecting guests this Christmas, make sure that your pool gate is self-closing and self-latching and do not be tempted to leave the gate propped open. It is a good idea to have a designated supervisor who is responsible for watching children at parties – this role can be shared by adults during the day.
Wishing families and caregivers across the NT a safe and happy Christmas and a New Year free from accidents and injury!

What's On


During holidays organisations like the Waterfront, city and town libraries, tourist attractions, local councils, community groups etc. will run activities to keep the kids busy. 
For some ideas on where to go and what to do or some useful links make sure you visit our website (www.fostercarersnt.org.au) or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FostercarersNT). 

We will regularly update these sites in the lead up to and throughout the holidays with what's on for kids and families throughout the NT.
CREATE Alice Springs invites young people ages 14-25 with a statutory care experience to become involved in the Speak Up program. Speak Up opens up exciting opportunities to be involved regionally and interstate in creating change for children and young people in care. There are beginner and senior programs running.

When: 16, 17 & 18 December 2015 @10.30am-3.00pm
Contact: 
Tania at CREATE on (08) 8953 8358 or 0434 152 611 for more information or to RSVP. Don't miss this great opportunity.
The Office of Youth Affairs has funded a range of public events and activities across the Northern Territory. The programs are aimed at 12 to 25 year olds and the calendar of regional events includes:
  • Hip Hop workshops – Darwin
  • Movie night – Central Australia
  • Disco, pool party and laser tag – Tennant Creek
  • Holiday Sunset Discos – in seven East Arnhem communities
  • Movie Day – Katherine
  • Cooking club, bush flicks and pool party – West Daly
For more event/activities see go to www.youth.nt.gov.au/calendar.html
DISCLAIMER:  Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, Foster Carers Association NT Incorporated (FCANT) assumes no responsibility. The user of the information agrees that the information is subject to change without notice. FCANT assumes no responsibility for the consequences of use of such information, nor for any infringement of third party intellectual property rights which may result from its use. In no event shall FCANT be liable for any direct, indirect, special or incidental damage resulting from,arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.
 
FCANT provides links to other Internet sites for informational purposes and the convenience of its readers. When readers choose to visit an external website, they are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.

FCANT does not endorse organisations that sponsor linked, external websites or does not endorse products or services that such organisations may offer. FACNT does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external websites.
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Copyright © 2015/2016 Foster Carers Association NT, All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is: PO Box 42716, Casuarina NT 0811

Darwin Office: 25 Damabila Drive, Lyons NT 0810. Ph: 8945 3364
Alice Springs Office: 10/82 Todd Street, Alice Springs NT 0870. Ph:8952 9202

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