Fostering connections to country in Bundaberg

17 June 2020

One of our foster carers escaped COVID-19 by connecting to country.

Ivy is a proud Aboriginal woman and mother to biological children and foster care kids.

Before the Easter school holidays, Ivy and Margaret, her SOC from the local care team talked about the unfolding health crisis COVID-19 and the impact it would have on the children should the government decide to enforce total shutdown. Ivy spoke with Margaret about getting approval from the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women to take the children in her care to her mother’s property in Bundaberg.

After the trip’s pros and cons were reviewed with her care team, Ivy was given approval to drive to Bundaberg with all five children, to spend the best part of three weeks on the property together, connecting with Ivy’s mother and sister.

The first week of their stay was the last week of school prior to the Easter break and Ivy ensured that all children had schoolwork to complete - with a twist! Schooling was done in a vastly different way and lessons were held by the local river. This allowed the children to connect to the land and participate in many cultural activities, such as learning how to find grubs in the bush, swimming in the river, and cooking traditional Indigenous food. Ivy’s mother talked to the children about the Dreamtime and shared some of their family’s history too.

The children all loved having the opportunity to learn about their culture and run around the property with a sense of freedom - rather than having to isolate at home. The one non-Aboriginal child on the trip said in the three weeks he’d spent on the property he learnt more about Aboriginal culture, return to country, and the Dreamtime than what he would have learnt in a years’ worth of history lessons.

Foster Care COVID19

How we’re supporting children, young people and carers during COVID-19