Understanding the carer journey

Amplifying the voice of supported, knowledgeable carers and employees, who are focused on improving the lives of children in care, strengthens the Life Without Barriers focus on developing a world class, evidence-based foster and kinship care program.

How do we listen to carers?

Conducting online surveys and focus groups with carers and local care teams has enabled us to understand the carer journey - what we are doing well, where the gaps are and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Our local teams maintain ongoing contact with our carers and through engagement events such as training and support meetings we provide an open and safe environment to share thoughts, ideas and suggestions on care.

What are we learning?

The foster care system is challenged by a limited number of people considering becoming, low carer respite options, high expectations of accountability and varying levels of practical support for children, young people. Despite these challenges, Life Without Barrier's carers remain deeply committed to supporting children and young people to succeed in life.

Carers have shared where we can support them more:

Carer attraction and engagement

We need to attract carers motivated by altruistic factors (such having the time and energy to help a child, prioritising the needs of children and wanting to play a part in the community).

Carer assessment, approval and review

The outcomes for children and young people improve where they are well matched with families who are skilled, confident and resilient.

Carer learning pathways

There are mixed perspectives on how well carers are trained in preparation for their role in foster care. Access to learning continues to be a challenge. Short notice, time constraints, scheduling and access to childcare can limit availability for training.

Carer support and supervision

There is strong support for a more cohesive sense of ‘care team’ that involves carers. Views about the involvement of children’s family identified many factors that can help develop a more inclusive care model.

What are we doing with this information?

By listening to and engaging with carers, we acknowledge the need for ongoing development and support. Building positive relationships – trust, transparency, accountability, goodwill – are key elements for the development of a great care system.

Across key focus areas of the carer journey we are progressing work to:

Carer attraction and engagement

  • Introduce specialist functions and selected carers as ambassadors to attract and engage with potential carers in local communities.
  • Adopt innovative IT solutions for enquiry management.
  • Enhance the way we provide information to prospective carers through our website and other approaches.

Carer assessment, approval and review

  • Extend our assessment approach to learn more about who carers are, in addition to what they know and can do. This focus on attributes reflects research and supports positive outcomes for children.
  • Explore culturally appropriate assessment approaches, including a Winangay pilot.

Carer learning pathways

  • Extend CARE and trauma-informed training to carers and the broader care team.
  • Develop eLearning modules and other approaches that help build the knowledge base and practical skills of our care teams.
  • Introduce anytime, anywhere, any pace training for all in the care team through the Life Without Barriers myLearning platform.

Carer support and supervision

  • Develop online support information – such as the Carer Guide.
  • Implement peer support models such as MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™.
  • Strengthen the skills of our team leaders and others to supervise and support high quality work.
  • Creating a digital communication and information platform for carers to access current information and connect with one another.

Contact us

For more information contact us via phone or email: