In 2016 and early 2017, the Department for Child Protection engaged KPMG to help inform the government's strategy to grow foster and kinship care in South Australia and review a carer advocacy model.
Both reports are now available to download.
In February 2016, the Department for Child Protection initiated KPMG to undertake an independent review into kinship and foster care to better understand the barriers and issues facing carers, as well as strategies that would support the growth of the sector in South Australia.
The report was informed by a literature review, carer survey and direct consultation with:
- carers from metro and regional areas
- foster care agencies
- peak bodies
- DCP staff from metro and regional areas.
The review makes 26 recommendations for changes, new initiatives or further reviews and identifies 3 strategic priorities:
- Clearly establishing and communicating the roles and responsibilities of the department, foster care agencies and carers in relation to the care of the child.
- Reviewing financial compensation available to carers and ensuring all parties understand the range of financial supports available.
- Improving the efficiency of foster care registration processes.
A number of these recommendations are already progressing through the Nyland Royal Commission reforms.
The department has analysed the review and developed a response to the four key themes identified in the report.
- Carer recruitment
- Carer registration
- Carer support and retention
- Increased placements.
As part of the response to the Nyland Royal Commission, in March 2017 the Government commissioned KPMG to review current advocacy services for carers in South Australia.
Currently, Connecting Foster and Kinship Carers SA (CFC-SA) is the peak advocacy service for foster and kinship carers in SA.
The report was informed by the views of foster and kinship carers, foster care agencies and DCP staff.
The Advocacy Report considered 5 options for advocacy models, but recommends implementing a professional agency model.
The report outlines a number of requirements a future carer advocacy service would have to fulfil, including providing information, advice and support and systematic advocacy.
The department agrees with the review recommendations and will fund a professional foster and kinship carer advocacy service.
An invitation for potential carer advocacy agencies to submit a tender bid will be released shortly.
Refer to the SA Tenders and Contracts website for more details.
Matthew Sanderson, Assistant Director Strategy and Performance
Telephone: 8226 3894
Email: Matthew.Sanderson3 [at] sa.gov.au