When caring for children in out-of-home-care, you’ll experience unique joys and equally unique challenges. Parenting these special kids is very different to parenting your own. Some of the particular issues that your kids may experience, combined with the need to protect their privacy, can make it hard to find someone to talk to who can understand what you’re going through.
Peer Support Groups are local groups for carers who live in the same area. Other carers can offer you a different kind of care to the service you receive from your agency or in training. These people have shared experience and learned knowledge to support you in a unique and meaningful way.
Joining a peer support group means enjoying regular get-togethers with other carers for:
- Mutual support
- Relaxation and time-out
- Discussion about being carers and raising kids and teens.
Build a network of support
Peer support groups are your opportunity to share information and stories and seek advice, acknowledgement and solidarity from other carers who are walking the same path as you. You’ll build your resilience, learn new perspectives and approaches and you may even make lifelong friendships.
Find the right support for your family
Take the opportunity to hear from other carers about services and activities for families in your area. Through the experience of your peers, you may discover a new service that fits your family’s needs. Many carers and their families find that they become more empowered in seeking their own alternative support systems.
What happens at a peer support group?
Group gatherings are a time to relax and relate to other people in your situation. Carers usually get together on a monthly basis to have a cuppa and a catch up - taking the time to get to know one another and support each other as individuals.
Some groups further their support with presentations from experts in related fields. Common topics include parenting strategies, local services and health and nutrition. It is also possible to have a professional facilitator help your group discuss particular, more sensitive issues.
How are peer support groups run?
Peer Support Groups are often run and supported by Carer Reference Groups.
At this stage, there is no process to ensure that members of the peer support groups are currently authorised carers. Group participants may need to satisfy themselves about the appropriateness of attendees.
The Information provided by My Forever Family NSW on peer support groups includes material on groups established by other organisations or individuals. The groups have not been reviewed by My Forever Family and are separate entities to My Forever Family. My Forever Family strives to improve your knowledge and skills and to promote opportunities for you as foster carers to connect with other carers, exchange experiences and provide support however we do not take responsibility for your voluntary participation in these groups.
Please speak with your Case Manager at your foster care agency if you have questions or concerns about any peer support group.
We also encourage feedback from carers and the sector as well on the listings provided
Riverina Albury Carers Group – Albury NSW
All carers are welcome - this is a caseworker free zone.
This is a judgement free zone to meet with other carers in similar situations.
Gorokan carers support group - Central Coast region
Joshua House Support and Education Group - Charlestown NSW
Joshua House is a voluntary initiative to bring together carers and specialists to facilitate the education, services and support for carers in the Hunter region. At these meetings, carers will have the opportunity to hear and learn from industry specialists. These industry specialists are passionate about supporting carers. They donating their valuable time and energy to support this initiative and will present to the group on a variety of relevant topics.
The opportunity is for carers to connect and collaborate with other carers and leading specialists who understand their daily walk and to seek answers to the wide variety of issues that carers face each day. The specialist support covers Behavioural Management, Self-Care, Individual Education Plans, Psychology (RAD and Co-dependency), Occupational Therapy, NDIS, Agency direction and Trauma-Informed Care as a starting platform.
All carers, support workers and industry professionals are welcome to attend. There is no cost, the facilitation is completely free.
Samaritans Kinship Care Groups – Hunter Region
This is an informal weekly meeting to catch up and get peer support from other carers in similar situations and learn about relevant support services.
Care4Kidz – Manning Valley NSW
Care4Kidz is a longstanding support group with highly qualified and experienced carers providing quality personal advocacy, support and training.
Newcastle Foster Carers Group
This is a group for any foster carers in the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie/Port Stephens areas who would like to get together for a monthly lunch or events.
Events will be posted to the Facebook group "Newcastle and Hunter Foster Carers Group". All authorised foster carers are welcome to join the Facebook group.
Southern Illawarra Carer Support Group – Shellharbour NSW
Coffee morning tea catch up. All carers are welcome to attend. Safe environment to chat and seek support.
Raising Kin – Springwood NSW
Raising Kin is a support group for grandparents, relatives and kinship carers who care for a child who is a relative.
Come along to meet others who are the primary carers of a grandchild, niece or nephew, sibling or other relative who is not their child.
Sydney North Shore Carers
Calling all Sydney North Shore and surrounding suburbs carers to join us start a new group of carers offering each other support during the foster care journey.
Initially, we’ll meet every first Sunday afternoon for a cup of tea, a chat and a play at Blenheim Park, but we’re very open to suggestions re: other times and venues (e.g. Warriewood Valley aka Rocket Park playground). Blenheim Park caters to kids of all ages and there’s also a dog park, so bring your furry friends along.
Please get in touch.
Central Coast Foster Carers Support Group - Tuggerah NSW
All approved agency and department carers are welcome to come and meet with other carers for a chat and a cuppa.
Northern Illawarra Carer Support Group - Thirroul
Settlement Services International - Sydney
Arabic Carer Support Group
Vietnamese Carer Support Group
Turkish Carer Support Group
Central Coast Family Support Services
Northern Support Group - Wyong
Southern Support Group - Erina
Sutherland Foster Carer Support Group - Heathcote
Support Groups - Mid North Coast
Morning Tea and children are welcome.