For almost 20 years, ACWA has developed resources to train and assess carers. These resources, known as Shared Lives and Step by Step, are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they effectively meet the contemporary needs of the sector. Versions of these tools are used in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and NSW.
Throughout 2019, ACWA has channelled a great deal of energy into upgrading the Victorian versions of our Shared Lives and Step by Step foster carer training and assessment tools.
This work has been funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, and has involved in-depth consultations with foster carer agencies and practitioners to ensure the updated tools are in line with Victorian legislation and policy guidelines, and also reflect good practice.
Shared Lives Victoria 2019 is now being used by agencies across Victoria. To date, more than 250 people have been trained to present this training package to prospective carers.
In the meantime, our Step by Step Victoria 2020 is scheduled for release early next year. Assessors are already engaged in the registration process to be able to use this assessment tool.
Our Victorian resources now align with those currently used in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania. This gives agencies the enormous advantage of being able to recognise foster carer training and assessments that have been conducted in other states using Shared Lives and Step by Step.
ACWA has long seen the benefit of continually reviewing the resources that we develop. We are confident that the improvements and innovations that we have made to the Victorian versions of Shared Lives and Step by Step will be incorporated into future editions used in other states.