Permanency Support Program
South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (SCMSAC) is a non-government, not for profit, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, Wellbeing and Community Services Organisation. We provide health and wellbeing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities throughout the NSW South Coast.
The (SCMSAC) is the only Aboriginal non-government organisation within the Shoalhaven and Far South Coast providing Permanency Support services. We are a fully accredited agency under the Children’s Guardian NSW child standards for permanent care. We are also accredited under the Australian Quality Improvement Council’s Health and Community Services Standards by AAA-NZ.
We support foster care placements for children and young people aged 0-18 years. We have offices in Nowra, Batemans Bay and Bega and we support foster care placements in the Shoalhaven and down the far South Coast to the Victorian border.
Caseworkers in partnership with our authorised Foster Carer’s provide support services to children that are unable to live safely with their birth families. We strive to ensure that children and young people are in a safe, well-functioning, stable placement and are developing to the best of their potential.
All children and young people have an annual case conference where they are placed at the centre of the planning process, it is coordinated by the caseworker and involves all key people in the child or young person’s life. A case plan is developed at the case conference and goals are agreed upon that include:
- We review the arrangements for birth family contact and develop a contact schedule
- We review where the child or young person’s progress is with their education, and work with schools and teachers in the development of their Individual Learning Plan. We arrange remedial education measures if children or young people have identified deficits or are falling behind.
- We look at the child or young person’s current health status and plan for any identified health issues. We ensure all children and young people have an Annual Health Check including dental and optical reviews.
- We develop Cultural Support Plans for all children and young people to ensure they maintain strong links with their culture, identity and heritage.
- We review the child or young person’s current placement and ensure it is flexible and is effectively meeting the needs of the child or young person.
- Where behaviour support issues are identified, or the administration of Psychotropic medication is required, we seek guidance and support from our Psychologist in the development and implementation of Behaviour Support Plans.
- Where there have been identified behaviour issues or the administration of Psychotropic medication to children and young people we seek guidance and support from our Psychologist in the development and implementation of behaviour Support Plans
- For young people 15 years and older, we complete living skills assessments to ascertain their current skill level, and develop Future Plans inline with outcomes. Our Caseworkers and their networks implement Futures Plans and develop living skills in readiness for when young people turn 18 and leave the care of the Minister.
Carer Recruitment and Support
Our Carer Support team is responsible for recruiting and assessing applicants who wish to be foster carers for SCMSAC. The assessment includes a number of background checks, safety inspections, and interviews for each applicant. This process helps us to ensure that children and young people are placed with foster carers who will provide them with a safe and stable environment, that is free from abuse; and where they can thrive.
As part of the assessment process, our foster care applicants are provided with preliminary foster carer training that explains what being a foster carer entails, the different types of foster carers; and what experiences can be expected as a foster carer. Being a foster carer is not for everyone, so this initial training helps our applicants determine whether being a foster carer is right for them, before they are fully assessed.
At SCMSAC, we work in partnership with our carers to ensure that they receive the most relevant information, resources and support.
Our carers receive:
- A dedicated caseworker who provides ongoing support including regular home visits and phone calls
- Access to a team of specialist professionals
- Emergency support from our after-hours on-call service
- Regular opportunities to participate in planning
- Support to access respite care
- Access to innovative and ongoing training
- Support to access the carer support network of their choice; and
- Links to peer support networks.
SCMSAC foster carers receive a tax-free fortnightly allowance to support the needs of any child placed into their care. This helps each carer feed, clothe, educate and meet other needs of the child in care. There are also a number of other payments and reimbursements available for certain children and situations.
There’s a higher rate of payment if the child or young person has special needs that put extra demands and costs on the carer.
Being a foster carer can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be challenging. SCMSAC aims to ensure that our carers are looked after and feel prepared to face these challenges. In addition to the children and young people in placement having an allocated caseworker; the Carer Support Team provides carers with access to ongoing training, scheduled carer meetings, regular reviews, respite care, community activities, service referrals, 24 hour on-call service and other supports as needed.
To register your EOI to become a Foster Carer with SCMSAC please contact 44480200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PSP Therapeutic Services
SCMSAC has several therapeutic services available to support children and young people in care as well as their carers.
SCMSAC also has a pool of trained and professional Community Support Officers (CSO’s) available to support and provide services for children and young people in care and their family. Our NPSS services are culturally appropriate and each CSO attends specific training.
Our NPSS workers are sensitive to the needs of Aboriginal children and young people and their families.