Creating a forever family

Child sitting on top of grandfathers shoulders with grandma standing next to them

Brothers James (seven) and Tom (five) had not had a good start to life. From a young age they had been exposed to family violence and substance abuse, and eventually were removed from their parents and placed in the care of their grandparents, Kate and John.

The children now had a safe and loving home, but the arrangement was only temporary; the family desperately wanted a permanent solution to give them the stability and certainty they all needed to move forward.

“James would ask me when we could be a forever family.” – Kate 

When Kate began working with Bethany’s Kinship Care Worker, Nicole, she felt anxious about forming a relationship with a new case worker and lacked trust in the system following the stress of recent events.

By focussing on open and transparent communication, and by validating Kate’s experiences, Nicole was able to build a strong rapport with Kate and gain her trust.  Nicole and Kate worked together to develop a timeframe for achieving their goal – permanent care for Tom and James – giving Kate the sense of hope she needed.

“No-one had ever spoken with me about timeframes for a Permanent Care Assessment. It suddenly felt more real and achievable after we had that conversation.” -Kate

Nicole helped the family to navigate the lengthy assessment process, and finally Kate and John were granted a Permanent Care Order. The children had the ‘forever family’ they had dreamed of.

With the security of a safe and stable family unit providing strong foundations, life has normalised for Tom and James, and their future looks bright. Kate and John are supporting the boys to create their own connections, including maintaining a relationship with their birth parents.

Bethany will continue to provide support to Kate, John, James and Tom through its Kinship Care program.

Through its Kinship Care program, Bethany supports children who are unable to live with their parents either temporarily or permanently, and who are in the care of a relative or another adult in the child’s social network.

The Bethany team works with families, carers, networks and child protection services to ensure a stable, safe home environment for children like Tom and James. Bethany’s kinship care workers provide practical and emotional support to carers like Kate and John, guiding the family through the complexities of the kinship care and child protection system, providing advocacy, facilitated support groups, and referrals to counselling programs as required.

Every child, family and individual deserves opportunities to live their best life.

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