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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3722 ..

2. a) Information from Learning and Community Education unit states that the cost per head for the foster care training program ‘Positive Futures Caring Together’ is affected by a range of variables as delivery is shared between the foster care agencies and DHCS. The number of attendees per training group also varies. An approximate cost per head is in the order of $688 per person for the ten module program.

b) The Learning and Community Education unit also report that the cost per head of training for Kinship carers and grandparents is affected by a range of variables including the number of carers attending and also if the training was provided by ACT government staff or other providers. The cost per head can vary from $345 per person to no or minimal cost depending on the course.

3. Foster carers become carers via unique pathways and this is reflected in the training needs. The ‘Positive Futures Caring Together’ is pre-requisite training for all new foster carers and is designed to meet the needs of carers who have no previous experience of the child / children they will be caring for. This training is a combination of sessions provided by the Department and the agency to that the Foster Carer is registered with.

Kinship carers and grandparents generally have some prior knowledge of the child/ children they will be caring for. Whilst having some similar training needs, kinship carers require specific and unique training. DHCS is developing a training package to address these unique needs. Training is voluntary for Kinship Carers and Grandparents, however they can choose to access training from a range of courses specifically provided for kinship carers by DHCS. Examples of the topics covered are described in question 1(b).

The training provided for Kinship carers and grandparents is usually provided in a one day or half day format. Positive Futures Caring Together has ten modules and is generally delivered over a series of evenings and / or weekends resulting in greater cost.

The Department has established a Carer Liaison Officer (CLO) to act as a point of contact for support, information and problem solving for carers (including Foster, Kinship and Grandparent Carers). This position is an acknowledged success. The CLOS distributes a newsletter to all carers with information, details of courses and contact details for a range of useful supports.

The Department funds a range of supports for carers and families through its programs including the Family Support Program and Youth Service program. Carers have access to the full range of services and support in the community for all families in need of help including Child and Family Centres, Parenting Programs and other government and non-government services, for example grandparent networks, through the CLO and Belconnen Regional Community Service (BRCS).

Care and Protection Services have two teams of case managers focusing specifically on the support needs of kinship placements.

Children—care and protection(Question No 992)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Children and Young People, upon notice, on 30 June 2010:

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