(Creative commons image by Ulrica)
In 2011 there were over 700 children on care and protection orders in the ACT, according to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare.
The ACT Greens have released a $2.76 million policy [PDF] in an attempt to fix flaws in the foster care system, including $360,000 over four years to train 400 teachers in dealing with trauma-related behaviour.
Next ACT spoke to two foster carers and two foster agency workers to find out what the people who experience foster care first-hand think of the initiative.
“As long as the funding is distributed in the appropriate areas [where it] is needed, yes that definitely needs to happen,” said foster worker Danielle MacMahon. “Change needs to happen, and change isn’t going to happen unless there’s funding so it’s a ‘Catch-22’.”
“I think teachers are doing a fantastic job in trying to understand,” said Kylie Yager, who is a case worker at foster agency Barnardos. “And the teachers that I’ve worked with have been very open in regards to … learning more about the needs of children.”