Handle with care: Supporting foster carers caring for infants - The Sector
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Handle with care: Supporting foster carers caring for infants

October 18, 2023 - October 18, 2023

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Recent research undertaken as part of a study exploring the care of infants in foster care found that infants under 12 months of age are more likely to be placed in out of home care (foster care) due to allegations and substantiations of abuse and neglect, including exposure to substances in utero and early life. The study identified several key findings that indicated that foster carers often aren’t adequately skilled and resourced to be able to provide the specialised care required for these vulnerable children.


The following findings relate to information provided by the 313 foster carers who participated in the study.


* Around 25% of carers indicated that they had not had biological children of their own and therefore had no antenatal or postnatal experience, nor were they provided training with qualified health care staff, covering basic infant needs.


* Only 28% of carer-respondents reported receiving information about the care of an infant who had been exposed to substances during pregnancy


* 71% of infants in OOHC did not receive home visits from a community nurse or midwife, in circumstances where this would have been warranted given the infants’ age


* Fewer than 35% of respondents reported receiving training related to attachment and developmental trauma


Join us on 18 October to hear directly from Associate Professor Stacy Blythe, who not only contributed to the research as part of the report titled Carers’ Perspectives: Caring for Infants in Out-of-Home-Care in New South Wales, but who also has her own personal experience as a foster carer for over 18 years.


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