Samaritans hosts Family Finding leader

Samaritans are this week hosting world-leader of the Family Finding model, Kevin Campbell, to upskill local agencies and practitioners in methods and strategies to locate and engage relatives of children who are living in foster care.

Campbell will visit from the United States to facilitate the Family Finding Bootcamp, enabling services to provide each child with the life-long connections that only a family can offer.

“We know that feelings of loneliness can be devastating and this is particularly felt by foster children. Every child has a family, and by utilising this practice we can go some way to establishing meaningful connections to family and help children to develop a sense of belonging,” Mr Campbell said.

Family Finding Bootcamps are a four-day immersion for practitioners to learn the philosophy, framework and skills of Family Finding practice.

“During the Bootcamp, participants will work in teams, practicing Family Finding for children and youth who are in care or supporting families who are new to child welfare. The training is a wonderful opportunity for Samaritans staff and colleagues from other agencies to develop skills that most importantly, improve outcomes for children,” Samaritans Executive Manager, Glenda Buckley, said.

Upon completion of the process, it is expected that young people will have a range of commitments from adults who are able to provide permanency, sustainable relationships within a kinship system and support in the transition to adulthood and beyond.

“The single most identified factor contributing to positive outcomes for children involves meaningful connections and lifelong relationships with family. Participants will leave the immersion experience having learned and practiced the skills of Family Finding and developed a sense of confidence in their use of the skills.

“Keeping safety at the forefront and using a family-driven process, families are empowered to formulate highly realistic and sustainable plans to meet the long-term needs of children and youth. Family Finding for most youth and families takes less than 20 hours- by committing to this process, we can create positive changes and connections for children in care,” Mr Campbell said.

Samaritans are proud to host 130 participants from across NSW to participate in this training which will be held at NEX Newcastle City from 5-8 March.