Kinship care is the care given to a child or sibling group by their extended family (usually grandparents) or social circle. With over 4,200 kinship care households in Victoria, kinship carers provide invaluable care to children and young people.
Wherever possible, it is preferable that children stay within their extended family or social circle, as this helps them maintain an aspect of identity, belonging, stability and a connection to culture. For this reason Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being transitioned to the care of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to ensure they receive culturally appropriate care and support.
Our Kinship Care Program
Berry Street's Kinship Care Program offers information, advice, support and case management services to kinship carers and their extended family network.
This can include:
- information about benefits and entitlements
support services in the community
- training and resources
- information on topics such as working with schools, managing change and promoting self-care.
Kinship carer support
There are kinship care support groups offered in each region that bring carers together regularly to share stories and experiences with people in similar circumstances. Sessions are facilitated by a Berry Street staff member from the Kinship Program and are held in a child friendly environment.
Being part of a kinship carer group has lots of benefits. You can:
- learn about the services available to you and the children in your care
- get lots of useful information about supports and how you can help children to develop and grow
- feel more connected and less isolated
- share stories and get advice from people who’ve had similar experiences to you
- give the children in your care an opportunity to connect with other children in the same situation, so they feel less isolated.
Learning and Development Opportunities
As a kinship carer you are eligible to access online and face to face learning provided through Carer Kafe. For more information, visit the Carer Kafe website.
Department of Human Services Grandparent Adviser Line
To find out more about other types of kinship carer groups in the community, call the Australian Government Department of Human Services Grandparent Adviser Line on 1800 245 965.
Kinship Carers Victoria
Kinship Carers Victoria provides support to kinship carers across the state. For more information, visit the Kinship Carers Victoria website.
Get in touch
Call: 03 5134 5971
Call: 03 5822 8100
Call: 03 5300 5000