Our services

Foster, kinship and residential care services

Out of home care provides a safe, supportive and therapeutic care environment for a child or young person while working towards either bringing a family back together or supporting children and young people in another safe and stable placement option. This type of care is used when a child or young person needs to be with a Foster or Kinship Carer or in other types of supported accommodation, such as residential and supported independent living services, to ensure the child or young person's safety.

Foster care

What is foster care?

Some children and young people are unable to stay at home because their families may not be able to look after them or because they may have been harmed or be at an unacceptable risk of harm.

The Child Protection Act 1999 gives the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services the power to protect vulnerable children and young people by finding safe and caring places for them to live for short or long periods of time. Children can come into the care system at any age from birth to 17 years. Churches of Christ Care partners with the Department of Communities in recruiting, training, assessing and supporting foster carers to care for these children.

Children and young people need foster placements for many reasons. Sometimes they need a short stay away from home for specialist intervention and support to be undertaken with their family so they can return later. In other cases, their parents and/or extended families may not be able to care for them and a longer term placement may be required.  For children in out of home care, the ultimate aim is always for them to rejoin their family wherever possible.

Carers are needed to provide emergency care, respite care (short breaks), short-term care and long-term care.

What support is available?
There are varied supports available to foster carers depending on their circumstances and needs. However generally, carers have access to the following services:

  • Carer training
  • Home visit by case worker
  • Telephone/email support
  • Support carers at meetings
  • 24-hour on call service
  • Introduction to Foster Care Advocacy and Support Service (FAST) delegates
  • Conferences to enhance skills and knowledge
  • Carer catch-up or support groups
  • Respite
  • Carer’s discount cards
  • SIBS for biological children (support group for the carer's biological children – Moreton Bay area only)
  • Advocacy
  • Answers to questions
  • Help in understanding their role and relevant legislation
  • Help in managing complex family situations

Churches of Christ Care works closely with the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to recruit, screen and train foster carers, who are continually monitored, supported and re-assessed every one to two years.

 

Kinship care

What is kinship care?
Kinship care is the care given to a child by someone they have an existing significant relationship with, such as a relative, friend or a known community member. Children may move into kinship care when they are removed from their birth parents or legal guardians.

What are the benefits of kinship care?
There are several benefits of kinship care. Primarily, it enables the child to maintain connections and relationships with family, friends and the local community. It is also better, where possible and safe, for the child to reside in a place where they have a sense of love, attachment and belonging. Kinship carers are more likely to have positive motivations to care for children with whom they have existing relationships. They are better able to understand and continue with family traditions, address cultural needs, and explore the child's heritage.

Kinship care fits within the legislation, specifically the Placement Principle. When children are placed where they have existing relationships, the healing process from trauma is better supported as it is likely the child will experience reduced separation issues.

Additionally, children may be more aware of expectations and familiarity with their new home and surroundings, which may provide them with more stability and successful life outcomes. Kinship carers are also more likely to understand the child’s likes, dislikes, previous experiences, strengths and needs.

What support is available to kinship carers?
There are varied supports available to kinship carers depending on their circumstances and needs. However generally, kinship carers have access to the following service:

  • Carer training
  • Home visit by case worker
  • Telephone/email support
  • Home visit by case worker
  • Support carers at meetings
  • 24-hour on call service
  • Introduction to Foster Care Advocacy and Support Service (FAST) delegates
  • Carers can attend conferences to enhance their skills and knowledge
  • Carer catch up/ support groups
  • Respite
  • Carer’s discount cards
  • SIBS for biological children (support group for the carers biological children – Moreton Bay area only)
  • Advocacy
  • Answers to relevant questions
  • Help to understand their role and the legislation around their role
  • Help to manage complex family situations.

Intensive foster care

What is intensive foster care?
Intensive foster care is a program offering support for children and young people in out of home care who require additional therapeutic support to meet their complex and/or extreme level of needs.

As the needs of children and carers can be quite different, a carer agreement is developed outlining the individual needs of the family. Services provided may include:

  • Weekly home visits by a case manager and a support worker who work together. Children may also have access to a therapeutic worker (dependent on need and service location).
  • Arranged coordination of therapy, set up school meetings, speech, occupational therapy, counselling, and Evolve Interagency Services (dependent on need and service location).
  • Advocate for the child and carer during meetings as required.
  • Care plan meetings start monthly and progress to bi-monthly.
  • Offer in-home training, which some services request is mandatory for all intensive foster carers – this becomes an expectation that carers will engage in the program.
  • Coordinate respite for the child so this is steady and consistent.
  • Coordinate monthly school meetings or twice a term if a child’s needs are less.
  • More intensive email/phone calls can be on a daily basis - debrief daily if required.
  • Research and information provision to assist in meeting the child’s needs.
  • Working collaboratively with the family to develop a plan that focuses on the social and emotional needs of the child and any behavioural concerns.
  • All children complete, an ‘all about me’ work book to learn more about the child individually. The scrap book of work is completed in each session during the program with pictures and important things happening for them.
  • Holiday program and an opportunity to view the child’s learnings.

Intensive kinship care

What is Kincare Plus?

Kincare Plus is Churches of Christ Care's Intensive Kinship Care program, offering support for children and young people in kinship placements who require increased levels of therapeutic support for complex and extreme levels of needs, for a limited time period.

What support is available?
There are similarities to kinship care in the support provided but with more specialised services provided wherever necessary. Support from Kincare Plus includes:

  • Carer training
  • Increased home visiting by case worker or therapeutic worker
  • Telephone/email support
  • Support cares at meetings
  • 24-hour on call service
  • Introduction to Foster Care Advocacy and Support Service (FAST) delegates
  • Carers can attend conferences to enhance their skills and knowledge
  • Carer catch up/ support groups
  • Respite
  • Carer’s discount cards
  • SIBS for biological children (support group for the carers biological children – Moreton bay specific only)
  • Advocacy
  • Answering questions
  • Help in understanding their role and relevant legislation
  • Help in managing complex family situations.

With the addition of specific family needs, support such as:

  • Managing family contact
  • Managing family relationships
  • Support for when the child is reunited.

Residential care

Churches of Christ Care has ten residential care services throughout Queensland, providing an alternative to traditional foster care that is tailor-made for young people aged 12-17 years.

We also provide immediate response services, which are licenced residential care services offering short-term, safe and secure placement options.

Young people are supported to maintain contact with their family and other significant others, and provided with emotional, physical and social support. They are provided with their own room and all basic living requirements, such as sheets, towels and toiletries, in a fully supervised home setting.

Our professionally trained staff assist young people to ensure the home is a safe and healing living environment, contributing to personal growth opportunities and the development of life skills.

Some of the important life skills taught to young people, within a nurturing and caring home environment, include:

  • How to get into education, training and jobs
  • Which support services and networks are helpful
  • Positive behaviour support
  • Money and budgeting skills
  • How to contribute to the community
  • Personal growth and development
  • How to develop healthy and positive social relationships
  • How to be physically healthy
  • How to prepare nutritious and low-cost meals
  • What really matters to you – including your spirituality
  • How to build better family relationships
  • How to manage emotions and heal from past traumas

Our staff supervise day-to-day care and are committed to providing a nurturing and caring living environment to achieve the best possible long-term outcomes for the young people within the residential care program.

The service is funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.