Strengthening children through culture
SSI Multicultural Foster Care is a specialist out-of-home care service for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds aged 0-18 years. The service operates in parts of metropolitan Sydney and the Hunter-Central Coast area.
At SSI, we believe children in care who are supported to learn about and maintain a connection to their culture, religion and language have better outcomes as they grow up than those who are not supported in this way1. These connections help children to understand where they have come from and to develop their sense of belonging and identity.
Helping children stay connected with their culture, language and religion also helps children settle if and when they are returned to their birth parents.
Support for foster children
Our service provides:
- General foster care and case management to meet the full needs of the child
- Foster carers from the child’s cultural background where possible
- Bilingual and bicultural case managers
- Cultural care planning to promote connections with their culture, religion, language and community
- Access to counselling and support services for children from refugee backgrounds
- Support for foster carers
While SSI has a strong focus on recruiting foster carers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, we are always supportive of people from all cultural backgrounds who have a genuine interest in providing safe and caring homes for children.
Foster carers with SSI have access to a range of support services including:
- carer assessment processes conducted in either English or community languages
- a professional caseworker to support you and the child
- bilingual caseworkers who understand the child’s culture
- monthly visits and regular phone contact with your caseworker
- access to 24-hour on-call phone support for crisis situations
- initial and ongoing training conducted in English or community languages
- general and culturally specific support groups for example, Vietnamese carers group
- respite care
- financial support to meet the cost of caring for the child
- referrals to a range of support services for you and the child
1 Burke, S. and Paxman, M. 2008. Children and young people from non-English speaking backgrounds in out-of-home care in NSW, Centre for Parenting & Research Service System Development Division, NSW Department of Community Services
*This program is funded by the NSW Government Department of Family & Community Services.