Behaviours that challenge: For foster and kinship carers


Foster and kinship children are unique individuals with complex backgrounds that come with complex needs. We often see that children who do not feel safe may communicate those complex needs in behaviours that carers can find challenging. It is important to be mindful of what is behind these behaviours, to respond in a way that helps them feel safe in the moment so they can heal from their past experiences. So how can carers prepare to respond to challenging behaviours in ways that help children feel safe and find alternative ways to tell us their needs?
This workshop helps foster and kinship carers understand the complexities of behaviours that challenge and make sense of their underlying needs. Understanding the needs that children communicate through their behaviours can help us tailor a therapeutic approach that meets those needs and establishes safety in relationships, so that children can feel safe enough to try new and better ways to advocate for themselves.
By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
  • Understand the impact of trauma on behaviour
  • Understand attachment issues and developmental issues that contribute to behaviour
  • Consider a range of potential needs underlying behaviours that challenge
  • Tailor strategies that therapeutically respond to behaviours to strengthen the carer-child relationship
  • Reflect on how carers’ stress can impact on their capacity to consistently respond therapeutically

Trainer: Noel Macnamara is the Deputy Director of the CETC and the Executive Manager, Research and Policy at the Australian Childhood Foundation. Noel has worked in child protection, child abuse and family violence across his career as a social worker, operational manager, organisational consultant, and child rights advocate.

Target Audience

This workshop has been designed for foster carers, kinship carers, and those who support them.

Virtual workshop

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