12 September 2022

Life Without Barriers' MOCKINGBIRD™ Family Program and Debraha Bills, Carer, were acknowledged at the South Australian Child Protection Awards!

Life Without Barriers Child, Youth and Family team and Foster Carers group photo at the South Australian Child Protection Awards.

We are proud to announce that Life Without Barriers Carer Ambassador, Debraha Bills received the award for Foster Carer of the year and Life Without Barriers MOCKINGBIRD™  Family Program received the Outstanding Service Award - Non-Government Organisations.

The South Australian Child Protection Awards was held on Friday, 9 September, delivered by the Department for Child Protection (DCP) in partnership with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).

The awards celebrated the outstanding achievements of children and young people, carers, volunteers, staff, and organisations from across the child protection sector.

Debraha Bills is South Australian Foster Carer of the Year!

Deb has been a Foster Carer since 2014, providing specialist respite, short-term and emergency care for multiple children in need.

Outside of providing care to children, Deb has been involved in focus groups and workshops to develop programs, including a reunification program and a program that welcomes Peer Support workers with lived experience of the child protection system into the Out of Home Care sector.

Deb is also a fantastic support for other Carers. As a Carer Ambassador, she has shared her experience at community events and information sessions, raised awareness of foster care, and generated numerous enquiries from the public about becoming a Foster Carer.

As a MOCKINGBIRD™ Home Hub Provider, Deb has imparted her experience and expertise and acted as a source of support to Carers and children in her constellation.

Congratulations, Deb; we are so pleased to see this recognition for your tireless support and efforts.

Image: Debraha Bills (middle) with the Hon Katrine Hildyard MP (left) and Cathy Taylor, Chief Executive of Department for Child Protection (right).

Learn more about Deb Bills, and her reflections on winning South Australian Foster Carer of the Year here.

Life Without Barriers MOCKINGBIRDFamily Program wins Outstanding Service Award - Non-Government Organisations.

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ was implemented in South Australia in partnership with The Mockingbird Society and The Department for Child Protection. It is an innovative way to structure support and supervision for Foster and Kinship Carers to create caring homes, inclusive of family, culture and community.

Our constellations are flourishing, achieving positive results for young people, and enhancing the carer experience. The constellations have united a number of foster care families, bringing experienced and new carers together to support each other. It has also provided an amazing opportunity for experienced carers to provide mentoring and role modelling.

This acknowledgement of the Life Without Barriers MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ Family Program is a fantastic recognition of the work of the Foster Carers, Home Hub Providers and staff involved.

Learn more about the MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ Program and the significance of this award here.

Image: From left – Hon Katrine Hildyard MP, Kristy Smith (LWB Foster Carer, Mockingbird Hub Home Provider Southern Constellation), Avril Hale (LWB CYF Operations Manager), Debraha Bills (LWB Foster Carer, Mockingbird Hub Home Provider North-East Constellation), Simone Mather (SA CYF Director), Kate Teekens (LWB Mockingbird Family Liaison Officer), Cathy Taylor (Chief Executive of Department for Child Protection), front row from left – Kerry Currey (LWB Carer Community & Support Facilitator) and Stacey Baldwin (LWB Foster Carer, Mockingbird Hub Home Provider Adelaide Hills Constellation).

Active Efforts Award Finalists

Ximena Farrokhy, Residential House Manager and Callum Grigg, Residential Support Worker from Life Without Barriers Residential Care Program, were shortlisted as finalists for the Active Efforts Award, which recognises outstanding active efforts to implement the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.

Ximena and Callum demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, in particular, the core elements of participation and connection, by arranging a return to Country trip for an Aboriginal child in residential care whose mob is from regional South Australia.

Connecting to Country is key to the relationship between culture, spirituality, language, family, and identity. By supporting the young person to return to Country, Callum and Ximena demonstrated recognition of our responsibility to ensure he has a sense of identity and belonging to his community.

Congratulations, Callum and Ximena, and thank you for your work in supporting young people in care.

Image: Callum Grigg, Residential Support Worker (left), Ximena Farrokhy, House Manager – Residential Care Facility (middle) and the Hon Katrine Hildyard MP (right).

At Life Without Barriers, we know that each and every one of us plays a part in preventing child abuse and neglect. We are proud to have sponsored this event, and we are thankful for the opportunity to have meaningful discussions about the issues of child abuse and neglect, and the roles everyone has to play in protecting the rights of young people.

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™.

Learn more about MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™

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