Why a Foster Forum?
It is important for prospective foster carers to be provided with information that will help them make the right decision for their individual circumstances. Research conducted by ACWA and its partners at the beginning of the Fostering NSW Campaign indicated there was a unique opportunity to provide a Foster Forum to answer the questions prospective carers want answered. We believe this need is best met through engagement of current foster carers providing first-hand knowledge and real-world experience. We have hand-selected (via foster care agencies’ expertise) a small but diverse group of current foster carers to be part of this initiative.
- Through Fostering NSW, ACWA has launched the first local, online, dedicated fostering forum with fully-searchable content, to support and assist people who may be considering fostering or who are currently fostering.
- The Foster Forum aims to initiate relevant and interesting topics of conversation that enable people to learn more about the reality of fostering.
- The Foster Forum also aims to support people who are currently fostering by providing a place for guidance and a safe environment to have their questions answered by those with foster care experience. Without personal and individual engagement by experienced carers, it is often difficult to provide this level of expert advice and support.
The Foster Forum is part of the Fostering NSW website, and is moderated by ACWA staff. The general public is able to view the Forum, but in order to join the conversation, individuals need to create a user profile with a valid email address, and agree to the Forum Terms & Conditions. This gives moderators the ability to delete inappropriate posts, or warn and block spammers or malicious users.
Confidentiality is maintained for individuals through the creation of usernames and passwords, and for children in care via strict moderation of adherence to our non-disclosure rules. We also request that no agencies or caseworkers be specifically named to avoid any inadvertent negative publicity. This Forum is designed to be a safe, reliable resource with a wealth of searchable information on fostering.
The Foster Carer Ambassadors regularly log on to answer questions and offer advice to those who post questions about fostering on the Forum. The Forum Ambassadors are a network of current foster carers from all over NSW, and from all walks of life, so forum users can be assured they are receiving trustworthy information from a voice of experience. Our Ambassadors are carers affiliated with UnitingCare Burnside, Life Without Barriers, Allambi Youth Services, MacKillop Family Services, Samaritans, Challenge Children's Services, Lifestyle Solutions and FaCS. We also have a panel of Content Experts we can call on for more technical or legal questions.
ACWA further supports the Forum by linking to it via the Fostering NSW social media channels to raise awareness of the Forum, and drive traffic to it.
How You Can Help
- Let all your current carers know about the Foster Forum
- Include information about the Foster Forum in the information packs you send to potential carers
- Place information about the Foster Forum on your agency’s website, including the digital click-through link that ACWA provides
- Follow the Fostering NSW Facebook and Twitter profiles
- Like us at Facebook ACWAFosteringNSW and follow us at Twitter @FosteringNSW
ACWA is proud to manage such a groundbreaking campaign, and to actively support the excellent work being done by foster care agencies in caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society.
If you have further questions about the Foster Forum, please don’t hesitate to contact Liz Potten:
Phone: (02) 9281 8822