The first carers to take part in the Treatment Foster Care Oregon - Adolescent (TFCO-A) pilot program have been recruited and received specialised training to help create better outcomes for young people in care.

The program is a partnership between the Department for Child Protection and OzChild, with $3.8 million committed to pilot the program over two years and support for a total of 14 young people.

It allows young people aged 12 to 17 the opportunity to live with a specially-trained treatment carer who will provide full-time one-on-one support for six to nine months.

The aim of the program is for the child or young person to return to family or a stable, long-term foster carer.

DCP Chief Executive Cathy Taylor thanked those who have come onboard as TFCO-A treatment carers and completed the training and assessment process.

“Carers are the foundation of South Australia’s child protection system and I thank those who have taken the time to become specially trained as TFCO-A treatment carers to provide a secure, stable and loving home for children and young people,” she said.

Northern suburbs residents Renee and Wade Brown said now was the right time for them to start their care journey by joining the TFCO program as treatment carers.

“I’ve always wanted to provide care, and now that my own children are 12 and 14, it seemed like a perfect time to start,” said Renee, who has spent the past five years working in family-based childcare.

“I’m at the stage where I want a change and a challenge and I want to make a difference in a young person’s life.”

OzChild TFCO Program Supervisor Rebecca Lee described the program as a ‘real life-changer for young South Australians’.

“With carers now specially trained and ready to go we can’t wait to have the first young person enter the program in the coming weeks,” Ms Lee said.

“This is especially exciting because it means we can get to work on improving outcomes for adolescents in care who are displaying complex emotional and behavioural difficulties.”

OzChild will work directly with DCP to help identify young people who are suitable for the model.

Carer recruitment will continue over the coming months.

Please visit OzChild’s website here for more information.