A message of thanks from Minister Luke Donnellan to kinship carers
Luke Donellan, Minister for Child Protection, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, comments regarding Kinship Carers Week.
First, I hereby acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands upon which we each of us stands and pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. I acknowledge them as the longest civilisation in the world and note how fortunate we are to be on their lands.
I am also honoured to extend greetings to you in Kinship Carers Week 2021. I personally thank you for the marvellous work you do every day for our children and young people. No doubt, you’ve had to overcome incredible difficulties during this period. Pressures such as home-schooling and also keeping the household moving must feel almost insurmountable in this an incredibly challenging time.
In Victoria there’s over 7,000 children each week cared for by kinship carers. Again, thank you for all the marvellous work you do every day!
Back in October 2019, I launched Strong Carers, Stronger Children, our carer strategy for home-based carers. It was the first home-based carer strategy to recognise the important role that kinship, foster and permanent carers make every day to our children and young people. The strategy itself was developed by listening to carers about the solutions that will make a difference to their life and to the lives of the children and young people you take care of every day.
As part of this, I want to highlight that kinship carers can access training through the Carer KaFE, in areas such as mental health, cultural safety and dealing with trauma. We know that times are tough and sometimes you need a break, and that is why I was pleased to announce recently over $2 million to expand our respite placement services for kinship carers.
I know that kinship carers are a strong supportive community, drawn together to support one another. Now more than ever, connection is important – and I am really looking forward to a time when we can see each other face to face.
In the meantime, I very much ask you to take care of yourself, ensure that your health and wellbeing is strong. Maintaining your mental and physical health in this time is as important as the marvellous care and love you provide to children and young people.
Thank you again for everything you do every day and I very much hope you enjoy Kinship Carers Week 2021.