Kalano Kinship Carer Program


The primary mission of Aboriginal Carer Services is to significantly enhance the placement of Aboriginal children, currently in or entering care, within the Northern Territory, with safe and suitable Aboriginal foster, family, and kinship carers. This is accomplished through a series of meticulously funded initiatives, which involve the identification of suitable Aboriginal carers, ensuring thorough and appropriate assessments, and providing them with the necessary support.

While the program is one of great significance and need within the Youth and Family Services portfolio, it is not without its challenges. Various complexities, particularly prevalent among the First Nations communities, pose considerable hurdles to becoming a kinship carer. These obstacles include the ongoing housing crisis, as well as difficulties associated with meeting administrative requirements and navigating partnership dynamics with referring and approval agencies.

The principal aims of this initiative encompass several key objectives:

Despite these challenges, the program has experienced notable successes throughout the year. Notably, the identification and support of 7 potential kinship carers signify significant progress. Additionally, the program has expanded its outreach efforts within the community, encouraging greater participation in emergency kinship care initiatives. Another notable achievement has been the development of the culturally sensitive Aboriginal Carers Assessment Tool, a collaborative effort with Kalano and other ACCO’s aimed at enhancing the assessment process for potential kinship carers. 

Looking ahead, securing a comprehensive five-year funding agreement is pivotal for the sustained and robust continuation of the program. This will not only ensure job stability for the program’s staff but also foster continuous growth and development. The ultimate aspiration remains to witness the flourishing of Aboriginal children within their own cultural context, surrounded by supportive Aboriginal families.