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My Kids and Me is a unique seven week course for parents whose children have been removed into statutory care. Restoration may or may not be part of the case plan. The aim of the program is to give parents an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and provide an opportunity for change. The course is psycho-educational in nature and was developed by a team of parent educators, psychologists, social workers and intensive family support workers. The My Kids and Me program was developed by CatholicCare Sydney and CatholicCare Wollongong between 2008 and 2011. It was externally evaluated in 2011 by the Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia. Copies of the evaluation are available from the developers. In 2015 the program was awarded Gold Accreditation by the Institute of Group Leaders. The program won the 2015 CSSA award for most innovative new program and was nominated for the 2015 HESTA Community Sector Organisation Award. My Kids and Me was listed on the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare in 2018.
The two day Facilitator Training Program is aimed at experienced workers in the areas of parent education, out of home care, intensive family support or related services. It would be expected that these staff would have tertiary qualifications in the social sciences or equivalent. They should have knowledge and experience of group process and theory and preferably have completed training in group facilitation. Facilitators should have an understanding of the issues related to parents whose children have been removed, the capacity to manage strong emotions, a willingness to use creative tools and the ability to work in a co-facilitation model. Organisations should note that two trained facilitators are required to lead the My Kids and Me course. Facilitators may be required to sign a licensing agreement.