What to expect from a FCOTA course
- Self-paced learning material
- Quick questions to check your knowledge
- Realistic case studies
- You tube videos
- Additional resources
- Current Australian legislation
- Multiple choice quiz which requires 7 out of 10 successful answers to complete the course
- A printable certificate issued on the successful completion of each course
Caring for a grieving child or young person
As foster carers it is likely you will be caring for a child or young person who has experienced loss and grief. The purpose of this course is to develop your existing skills and knowledge and add a few more tools to your toolbox to help support the child or young person in your care.
This course covers the fundamental aspects of caring for a grieving child or young person. These include: defining grief and loss; the different types of loss and grief children and young people in care experience; what behaviours might be an expression of grief; the process of grief; how to support a grieving child or young person and finally some typical case scenarios to put it all together.
Loss and grief is a natural and normal part of being human and something we will all experience.
Developed by Mirna Tarabay
Anxiety disorders in children and young people
Being a worker or carer presents many benefits and some challenges. One of the challenges can be managing anxiety. This course has been designed to build the knowledge and understanding of people caring or working with children and young people who experience anxiety.
This course is designed to give you a better understanding of the underlying causes of anxiety including loss and grief.
The course aims to increase your knowledge of the impact of anxiety disorders on children and young people and how they can be triggered.
Case scenarios will be presented that show signs of anxiety disorders and how workers and carers can assist and support these children and young people.
Developed by Dr Pat Johnson
Child protection is a significant course for all foster carers regardless of the age or stage of the children and young people in your care.
All children need care and protection and therefore there is legislation to protect their rights and wellbeing.
While some parents relinquish care of their children or are medically unable to care for them the majority of children and young people in Out of Home Care in Australia has experienced some type of abuse and/or neglect.
This course focuses on recognising and responding to child abuse and neglect. Types of child abuse, definitions and indicators of abuse or neglect will be covered during this course. Case scenarios will reflect realistic situations of children in care who have experienced child abuse or neglect.
Developed by Alison Ewington
Caring for an Aboriginal child or young person
When you think about Aboriginal people what comes to mind? Who are they? What do you know about them and their culture, music, art and history?
These are important questions to ask yourself as a worker or person caring for Aboriginal children or young people.
This course provides information about Indigenous culture; an overview of Australian history with Aboriginal children and young people in Out of Home Care, statistical information as well as Australian wide related polices and legislation in working with Aboriginal children and young people.
This course will cover the importance of maintaining relationships and cultural identity in Aboriginal culture.
This course was developed by Greg Egan, an Out of Home Care Manager who identifies as an Aboriginal person and a proud descendent of the Biripi people of Taree.
Developed by Greg Egan
The impact of trauma on brain development
As carers or workers in Out of Home Care you will more than likely be caring for a child or young person who has experienced trauma. Understanding how trauma effects brain development is a fundamental part of effectively caring for children or young people in Out of Home Care.
The first part of this course looks at normal brain development and its functions. The second part covers how the brain is impacted by early trauma.
During the brain development section you will learn about:
- how the brain develops during pregnancy;
- the functions of the left and right hemispheres and the brain stem;
- emotional development on the infant brain.
During the second part of the course you will learn about:
- the overactive fight or flight response in children and young people who have been traumatised;
- the importance of the environment on brain development in the early years;
- how early abuse and experiences affect brain development;
- the influence all this has on learning.
Finally case scenarios will be presented to reflect the material covered.
Developed by Dr Kati Jacobs
Caring for a child or young person with Challenging Behaviours
In this presentation we will be looking at the issue of dealing with challenging behaviours of children and young people in out of Home Care.
Children and young people that come into care often come from families where day to day routines are chaotic, parents lack general parenting skills, have little understanding of child development and often use inappropriate discipline where they do discipline.
These children and young people may have also experienced abuse, neglect, trauma and/or violence.
Children and young people can often be scared, distressed, and suffering grief and loss issues as a a result of being removed from their parents care.
This course will look at:
- What are challenging behaviours?
- Stages of child development and associated behaviours.
- Impacts of trauma on children’s behaviour and learning.
- Intellectual disabilities & Autism.
- Causes & Reasons for challenging behaviours.
- Strategies for managing challenging behaviours.
- Case scenarios.
Developed by Greg Egan
Life Story Work
This is a short course aimed to promote, protect and nurture each child and young person's individual life story. Every person has a life story. No two stories will ever be the same but every one is unique and worth capturing.
This course will cover:
- What is a life story
- The importance of life story work for a child or young person in care
- Creative ideas for life story work
- including the child or young person in their life story work
- Case scenarios reflecting how important life story work is for children and young people throughout their lives.
Caring for a child or young person from a Culturally and Linguistic Diverse background
As carers and workers of children and young people in Out of Home care, you may find yourself caring or working with a child or young person with a culture that differs from your own.
The phrase Culturally and Linguistic Diverse Background (CALD) is used to describe the ethnic groups from different cultural backgrounds to the dominant Australian culture.
This course was developed to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the cultural identity of CALD children and young people in your care. The course will address potential issues that you may face and encourage you to find new ways to actively participate.
This course gives a clear definition of the term CALD including when and why it is used. You will learn about the legislation and policies relevant to CALD children and young people and be given opportunities to explore your own culture and identify.
You will learn about the cultural challenges for CALD people, particularly children and young people in Out of Home Care who are living with people from a different culture.
Finally case scenarios will be presented that demonstrate how carers and workers can support children and young people maintain their culture and identity.
Developed by Yoga Balakrishnan
Introduction to Attachment and Bonding
Attachment and bonding is a significant theory as it not only relates to children in Out of Home Care but to all human beings. If we have an understanding of our own attachment style we are better able to make positive changes and become more secure. Therefore, better able to become a child’s secure base to feel confident, safe and protected.
During this course we will explore:
- Different types of attachment styles that develop from infancy.
- Characteristics of each attachment style in children and young people as well as characteristics of their Parents and Caregivers.
- How a person’s attachment style affects their behaviours and relationships throughout their lives.
- Case scenarios will be presented that reflect differing attachment styles.
Contact with significant others
Contact is a significant part of working or caring for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents.
This course explores the importance of bonding and attachment, maintaining relationships with significant others and promoting a child or young person's understanding of their identity. The dynamics of contact are explained with barriers and issues explored.
This course looks at the legislation and policy supporting this process, and information to help aid you in your role. Case scenarios will be presented that demonstrate the importance and complexity of contact.
Developed by Greg Egan
Babies born to substance abusing mothers
As carers and workers of children and young people in Out of Home Care you may find yourself caring for or working with a child or young person who’s Mother used substances during her pregnancy.
In this session we hope to give you a broader knowledge in the area of substance use and its effects on pregnancy and the newborn baby. The group of mothers and families who fit into this group make up only a small percentage of the total births in Australia each year, however as carers and workers of children in Out of Home Care you may come into contact with this group of mothers, especially those in difficult social situations with serious drug or alcohol issues.
This course was developed by a Special Care Nursery Midwife with over 20 years experience working with women who use substances during pregnancy.
Increasing your knowledge in this area will lead to a better understanding of these women, their families and their babies and this in turn can lead to an improvement in their care which can lead to better outcomes for these individuals on all levels.
Following the education session we will present 3 case scenarios of babies who have been born in this situation, their journey through the hospital system and the outcome for them and their mother.
Developed by Leonie Jenkins
Caring for a child who has experienced sexual abuse
Did you know that 20% to 40% of girls and 10% to 15% of boys experience Sexual Abuse before the age of 16? (Australian Institute of Statistics).
This course was developed to increase your understanding on how sexual abuse can impact on children and young people’s lives and to provide strategies for caring for a child or young person who has experienced sexual abuse.
The learning outcomes for this course include:
- What child sexual abuse is;
- How child sexual abuse occurs;
- The effects of child sexual abuse;
- How to respond if a child discloses sexual abuse;
- What behaviours children who have been sexually abused may exhibit and techniques to manage these;
- Case scenarios of children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse.
Developed by Rebekah Lucas
Suicide prevention of children and young people
In 2011, 80 males aged 15-19 years and 151 males aged 20-24 years took their own lives.
In the same year, 35 female’s aged 15-19 years, and 55 females aged 20 to 24 years also died by suicide.
You can make a profound difference to a young person’s life who may be having suicidal thoughts and this course aims to show you how.
This valuable course covers:
- Defining suicide
- Why young people take their own lives
- Possible warning signs of a child or young person contemplating suicide
- Risk factors and protective factors
- Myths and facts about suicide
- Responding to and supporting a child or young person at risk of suicide.
The impact of domestic violence on children and young people
Domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions in Australia and is now the leading preventable cause of injury and death in women under 45.
During this course, we look at:
- The types of domestic violence
- Understanding the impact of witnessing domestic violence on children and young people.
- Understand the impact of domestic violence in the Australian child protection system.
- Identify the best ways of supporting children who have witnessed domestic violence in out of home care.
”I want to tell people that family violence happens to anybody, no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are”. Rosie Batty
The high rate of substantiated emotional abuse of children and young people in Australia is the most common type of abuse, highlighting the impact domestic violence has on children and young people.
Advocate for yourself and others
As a Foster carer, kinship carer, Adoptive Parent or worker in the Out of home care sector, there will be many occasions which will require you to advocate for the child or young person in your care, for yourself, your family and others.
One definition of advocacy is: speaking, acting or writing on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice by being on their side and no-one else’s, being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs, remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is emphatic and vigorous.
During this course we will look at:
- What is advocacy
- The need for advocacy
- Rights of all people
- Social justice
- Setting goals
- The advocacy process
Developed by Alison Ewington
Trauma informed care part 1
As a foster carer it is likely that you will be caring for a child who has experienced complex trauma. It is really important that you have a thorough understanding of what trauma is and how trauma affects children before we can begin to think about strategies to support you and your child. We will look at the strategies in Part 2 of this course.
In this course you will have the opportunity to develop;
- A deeper understanding of how trauma affects your children’s behaviour
- Increased confidence to support your children who have experienced trauma
- Strategies for strengthening the relationship between you and your child
- An awareness and sensitivity to the dynamics of trauma
Developed by Mirna Tarabay
Trauma informed care part 2
In this course you will have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how trauma affects your children’s behaviour; increased confidence to support your children who have experienced trauma; strategies for strengthening the relationship between you and your child and an awareness and sensitivity to the dynamics of trauma.
This course builds on the knowledge learnt in part 1, which covered what trauma is; the difference between single incident and complex trauma; the effects that trauma has on children’s development including the effects on the brain, body, learning, emotions and relationships.
In this section you have the opportunity to explore;
- What it means to be trauma informed.
- That healing happens through respectful relationship.
- The importance of supporting your child to feel safe.
- Ways to support emotional regulation in your child.
- The importance of keeping yourself regulated.
- Ways to discipline your child that are not punitive.
- The importance of time in and connection.
- The principles of Playful, Loving, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathic caring.
Developed by Mirna Tarabay
This course explores how carers can support positive change in children's lives through restorations and transitions. We look at:
- Understanding why children are restored to their parent/s;
- Explore how a decision is made to restore a child to their parent/s;
- The skills and knowledge parents need to demonstrate to have their children restored;
- Factors that increase the chance of successful restorations.
- What carers can do to support children and their families for restoration.
Transitions- A new beginning
We all experience transition and change during our lives. Life events such as finishing school; changing jobs; marriage; divorce; death of a parent; children moving out of home etc are just a few changes that you may experience.
Some people are more affected by these transitional periods than others. For some, change brings overwhelming feelings, regardless of the expected nature of the change.
This course aims to provide carers with skills and knowledge to help children who have experienced trauma, to navigate their way through change.
Carers themselves go through change and loss in their own lives and can experience difficulty managing their own emotions when a child in their care moves on.
This training is just as much for you as carers as it is about children.
Developed by Alison Ewington
Kinship and Relative Care
When children are removed from their family, they need to be in an environment which supports an appropriate sense of belonging to their family. Kin carers provide that important link between children and their birth family. They are the glue that bounds the children to their family.
Kinship and Relative care is a big job, one that can be filled with big rewards. You have an opportunity to shape and influence a child's future. While kinship and relative care is rewarding, it also comes with challenges.
The aim of this course is to look at ways of navigating the more challenging parts of kinship and relative care while supporting the needs of you as a carer.
Developed by:Jennifer Newton
Resilience is what gives us the psychological strength to cope with stress and hardship. It is the mental strength that we call on in times of need to carry us through without falling apart and enables us to bounce back.
Dealing with change or loss is an inevitable part of life. At some point, everyone experiences varying degrees of setbacks. Some of these challenges might be relatively minor, such as not getting the teacher you want, while others are disastrous on a much larger scale, such as abuse, major accidents, homelessness or being removed from a parent. How we deal with these problems can play a significant role in not only the outcome but also the long-term psychological consequences.
This course will look at what resilience is, our own resilience as adults, signs of resilience and how to build a child or young persons resilience. This course is relevant for everyone.