n response to the unprecedented pressure COVID-19 will place on households, Adopt Change has developed a unique approach to engaging with vulnerable families.
This new initiative utilises an ‘Online Lounge Room’ to keep carers connected with virtual face-to-face sessions that will help navigate the challenges of parenting during the coronavirus outbreak. This will include topics around home schooling, talking with kids about hygiene and tips to manage challenges of self-isolation while supporting kids with trauma.
Australia, 26 March 2020: Today, Adopt Change announce a new initiative called the ‘Online Lounge Room’ to provide virtual face-to-face support and guidance for carers across Australia. The Lounge Room is designed to bring carers together in an online setting to discuss the issues that matter in looking after kids with trauma, while garnering tips and guidance from a subject matter expert.
Amidst the increasing turmoil thrust upon the community through business shutdowns, school closures, raising unemployment and isolation, it’s easy to see why families will be under intense pressure. This online community will be a safe place to discuss the increasing challenges of caring for kids in the statutory care system (including foster, kinship, guardians and adoptive parents) and is designed to support carers in adjusting to the new COVID-19 world.
Children suffering from the impact of trauma and living in the Australian care system often have experienced numerous homes and continued uncertainty. The effect of being in isolation and living with the news of drastic change in the external environment can trigger an understandable emotional response, leaving carers and kids in even more need of support.
Currently, typical supports such as carer support groups, in person training sessions and other social work supports, are unable to be delivered face-to-face due to risks associated with the outbreak of coronavirus. This has meant that critical supports for vulnerable families are grinding to a halt at a time when they are most needed. This new initiative is one of the measures Adopt Change are delivering to ensure a connection to families at this critical time.
CEO of Adopt Change Renée Carter said, “Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we maintain contact with carers and deliver them the supports they need. The fluidity of the situation is extremely stressful for parents with kids already experiencing the effects of trauma. Through providing this service we are creating an additional connection and a safe place for carers to discuss the issues that matter to them.”
The Online Lounge Room sessions will centre on a topic of focus for carers and feature a 20-minute presentation from a subject matter expert. Carers will be encouraged to “bring a cuppa” to the sessions, which will include a 20-minute Q&A session open to all carers in the Lounge.
There will be numerous Lounge sessions, with each session limited to 20 people to ensure that everyone can participate if they feel comfortable to do so.
“While we understand the need for self-isolation, we are not prepared to leave carers feeling isolated or confused about how to manage through this time. We believe that every child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing family home and we will continue to develop new ways to support our carers and deliver on this commitment. Carers are a critical part of the care network for children who have typically experienced abuse or neglect and must be supported so that they can nurture the children in their care.” Ms Carter concluded.
For all media enquiries and interviews with Adopt Change CEO Renée Carter, please contact:
0400 679 329
About Adopt Change Adopt Change is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and educate families and communities in caring for displaced children (including those in foster care or orphaned) to achieve our vision of a world where all children grow, learn, play and thrive in a safe, nurturing and stable environment. We provide support resources, training, education and programs to work towards achieving this goal.
Adopt Change recognises the impacts of impermanency and trauma and we support families through workshops and online resources; research; pre- and post-permanency supports; trauma informed supports; information and community events; as well as working with governments, departments and the sector to address issues surrounding permanency for children.
We work to raise community awareness of the importance of meeting these rights for children; and empower Australians to work towards all children having positive life outcomes. We support capacity building of families to ensure that vulnerable children are able to remain within their family of origin where possible. When that is not possible or safe, we advocate for other timely and permanent options, including adoption.
Adopt Change operates the government-funded program My Forever Family NSW to recruit, train, support and advocate for foster carers, kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents for children in out of home care in NSW.
National Adoption & Permanency Awareness Month is held during November and is coordinated by Adopt Change to promote improvement to permanency legislation, policy and practice to facilitate a community where a child’s right to stability is prioritised. National Adoption Awareness Week was founded by Deborra-lee Furness in 2008.
About Renée Carter
Renée Carter is the CEO of Australian not-for-profit Adopt Change, which also operates the program My Forever Family NSW. She is also a member of the Institute Advisory Group for the Independent Research Centre Institute of Open Adoption Studies (The University of Sydney).
Renée has a strong background in communications and executive management, along with board level experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). Her experience includes three years as Chair of charity Child Abuse Prevention Service (CAPS), an organisation focused on early intervention, education and support of families and communities.
Renée is passionate about influencing policy and practice to deliver timely and effective outcomes for children, by garnering community, sector and government support.