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Peer Support

Parents and carers whose children join their families through permanent care, kinship care and adoption want to raise happy, healthy children who thrive in life.  There is undoubtedly significant joy and fulfilment along the way. However, there are also unique challenges for these families due to the early disruption experienced by children who are not being raised by their birth parents. In addition, many (if not most) of these children will have experienced some level of early trauma (often profound) due to neglect and/or abuse. Their behaviour and ability to settle into a new family is likely to reflect these experiences in different ways and at different stages, leading to very real challenges for parents, carers, siblings, extended families and the professionals who support them. 

Details are emailed to members in the lead up to the peer support group and can also be found on our Facebook page. Alternatively, you can phone 03 9020 1833 or email Membership Engagement and Office Manager, Deborah Hunt at for more information.

Carer Assistance Program (Self Referrals)

The Carer Assistance Program run by FCAV is now available to PCA Families parents and carers thanks to DFFH funding.

The CAP program offers therapeutic support by an experienced counsellor, aimed at supporting and improving the mental health and wellbeing of parents and carers (including adoption).

Up to 3 sessions will be available for matters on which you may require support. Some of the issues you might need additional support for include loss and grief following a family matter
or breakdown, anxiety and depression, compassion or caring fatigue, blocked care, system ‘trauma’ following an incident, complexities in contact or similar.

To access the counselling service, simply fill out the self-referral form available here.

Or contact our helpline and we will direct you to counsellor Nic (available Tuesdays and Fridays). 

Nic_FCAV.jpg Nic has extensive experience in individual therapeutic intervention and family therapy, advocacy and case management for young people and families involved with child protection and out of home care. Providing a safe and open space and offering a client-centred holistic approach to support you or your child in creating a new narrative to improve psychosocial well-being is Nic's passion. Currently completing a Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy through ACAP, to further expand on therapeutic skills and knowledge around trauma-informed intersectional approaches linked to the Out of Home Care sector, Nic brings an inviting and youthful energy and the ability to hold space for personal reflection and validation of experiences.

Share & Connect (Journal Club)

Share & Connect, previously known as Journal Club, was established to provide regular monthly support to parents and carers (including families who are waiting for a child to join them or transitioning to permanent care from kinship or foster care). Although delivered a little differently online during COVID-19, typically a brief article is circulated each month prior to the meeting – or we have a guest speaker with expertise in a particular topic.

Share & Connect offers members an opportunity to connect with other parents and carers in a safe space and to share the unique and common experiences of parenting children through permanent care, kinship care and adoption. It is facilitated by skilled volunteers with lived experience in raising children through permanent care, kinship care and adoption. Confidentiality is an important part of these meetings.

For over ten years, Share & Connect has taken place at Collingwood Library, 11 Stanton Street, Abbotsford on the first Thursday of each month, from 8.00 to 9.30pm. Due to COVID-19, Share & Connect is currently operating via Zoom on the first Thursday of each month, 8.00pm to 9.30pm (followed by an informal ‘car park’ chat time for those who want to stay on). Please note you can participate with or without video. Pre-registration is required, and you do not need to have prepared in advance to attend. 

For information about our Share & Connect topics and dates, and registration links, please see our events page here 

Click & Connect

Click and Connect was developed in response to parents/carers requiring extra support in the context of COVID-19. Click and Connect meets regularly, generally fortnightly, on Wednesdays from 12pm – 1pm, and provides a supportive social space that allows natural conversations to flow to ensure you are honoured as experts of your families and lives, while having the expertise of a PCA Adviser on hand for additional professional support.

Meetings begin with a brief overview of the topic by a PCA Families adviser before opening up to the group to share experiences, thoughts and ideas.  Like all of our peer support groups, you are welcome to participate if you are a parent/carer of a permanent care, kinship care or adoptive family, or a prospective parent/carer. You are welcome to attend as often as you like, whether that’s just once or regularly. Pre-registration is required via our Zoom link.

Future topics are decided collaboratively with participants. Please let us know if you have an idea for a future topic as we are flexible and can adapt as we go!

For information about our Click & Connect topics and dates, and registration links, please see our events page here 

Lets Connect

Getting together to connect with others with lived experience is important, so we are planning some dates where we can gather face to face and share tips and advice and/or seek out some specialist advice from one of our PCA Advisors. 

A PCA Advisor and a parent or carer with lived experience will attend these sessions and sessions will only be available to members. 

All PCA Families members are welcome by registering to attend at any location - come to one or all its up to you (to become a member see the link here)!

We will be open and flexible to discuss whatever you wish on the day or you can contact us ahead of time to let us know what you would like to know more about. 

Refreshments and snacks will also be provided.

For information about our Lets Connect topics and dates, and registration links, please see our events page here 

Past Meeting Topics - 2021