Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT (FKCA) provide two forms of Advocacy for our member foster and kinship Carers: Individual and Systemic forms of advocacy.
A large part of Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT’s work is individual advocacy for our members.
Our approach is to support and empower carers to have their voice heard.
Our Advocates are available Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm. Appointments to discuss your matters can be arranged by calling our office on 1300 030 928 or alternatively complete our online advocacy form.
Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT (FKCA) provides systemic advocacy to achieve better outcomes for foster and kinship Carers in the Northern Territory. Systemic advocacy seeks to influence and help change legislation and community attitudes and lobbying positive change.
Through systemic advocacy, FKCA aims to create change and be a voice for foster and kinship Carers in the Northern Territory. The Charter of Rights initiated by FKCA, was implemented in May 2017, is an example of systemic advocacy in action.
What is Advocacy?
There are many definitions of advocacy, but in essence it is speaking, acting and writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice.
*Definition as discussed during a National Advocacy Workshop Sydney 1994 and based on the work of Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger. (Ref. Queensland Advocacy Inc.)
Other definitions may describe the process as standing alongside an individual who is disadvantaged and speaking out on their behalf.
The term advocate is derived from the Latin word ‘to be called to stand beside’. Good advocacy should be working in partnership and good listening and communication between the individual and advocate on equal levels.
At Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT we strive to achieve the most desirable outcomes for our carers.
If you would like to discuss any concerns you may have, or need further guidance, please complete the advocacy form and we will make every effort to assist in the progression and resolution of your matter.
Systemic advocacy enables Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT to be a voice for foster and kinship carers through advocacy and lobbying positive change.
On Friday 26 May 2017, Minister Dale Wakefield, Minister for Territory Families officially launched The Charter of Rights at Parliament House. The Charter of Rights is the voice of Foster and Kinship Carers, developed by carers, for carers in the Northern Territory.
Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT has led the way nationally by highlighting the need for all Australian States and Territories foster and kinship care agencies to develop a Charter of Rights specifically for Foster and Kinship Carers.
We are proud to have the full support of Territory Families from the CEO down, sending a strong message to foster and kinship carers throughout the Northern Territory that their work is valued by the Territory and their community.
Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT and Territory Families have committed to taking this Charter throughout the Territory, talking with foster and kinship carers, case managers, team leaders and managers to acknowledge the positive and valuable work that foster and kinship carers do in our community and the importance of our partnership in raising our most vulnerable children.
The Foster and Kinship Carers Charter of Rights has been one of the most important projects we have undertaken and we would like to congratulate all foster and kinship carers who’ve taken part in the extensive consultation process. We are also extremely grateful for the carers who participated in the video which talks about what the Charter means to them. The video is a work in progress and in time we hope to collaborate with carers throughout the Northern Territory.
As Minister Wakefield explained, the Charter of Rights is just the beginning! We have a long and challenging journey ahead but The Charter of Rights ensures that carers will be supported.
Our Congratulations to you all!
How can carers make a request for support or advocacy from Foster & Kinship Carers Association NT?
We suggest that where possible, the preferred course of action initially is to attempt to resolve issues by discussing matters of concern with your Department of Children and Families Case Manager or Carers Support Worker either through a phone call or email.
However, if this process does not result in an acceptable resolution of the carer’s issues, foster and kinship carers who are members of Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT are able to have support and advocacy provided to them from our organisation.
There may be occasions when some carers feel that they are not able to adequately express their view point in meetings or may feel intimidated by staff especially where conflict has already arisen between the carer and staff of the Department of Children and Families.
If such an occasion occurs carers can request assistance from one of the Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT Advocates. Assistance may be in the form of contact with the Department of Children and Families on behalf of the carer or accompanying carers to and/or supporting them at meetings.
Carers may request to have the Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT Advocate accompany them to meetings at the Department of Children and Families. They can also make a request that a meeting be held at Foster and Kinship Carers Association NT office.