Edmund Rice Camps Queensland emerged from a COVID-enforced six-month break with a special treat for six families that achieved “amazing outcomes”. Source: The Catholic Leader.
The organisation, which supports vulnerable and disadvantaged children, has been unable to hold any camps for the past six months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Its first one back happened to be its annual family camp, with six families from the out-of-home care sector joining in with their “care team”.
Edmund Rice Camps Queensland executive officer Nick Martin said a care team for the children included a case manager, foster carers, biological parents and other supports, and the children themselves.
“Our family camp operates on the ethos that some guardians and therefore some children need the support of an entire care team to provide the necessary and appropriate care required for a child to grow up healthy and happy in a safe environment,” Mr Martin said.
ERCQ partnered with local not-for-profit organisation Kyabra Community Association, “leaders in the social services sector”, to run the family camps. Mr Martin said the “care team” model of a family camp was designed to improve placement stability.
“We know, in some cases, children must be removed from their parents’ care, and with that a lot of tensions exist between intervening agencies and departments, and between the biological and foster carers,” he said.
“Our programs ensure all parties can have fun, learn and grow together in a safe and non-judgemental environment, with the support of our one-to-one volunteers ... This year we saw amazing outcomes (at the family camp) with children opening up to foster carers for the first time, families working together and providing peer-to-peer support and affirmation.”
Vulnerable children in out-of-home care receive post-pandemic support on family camp (By Peter Bugden, The Catholic Leader)