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Anita

Anita PELL

Year of Award: 2008 Award State: Victoria Social Welfare > General
The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to study the recruitment and retention of foster carers - Ireland, U.K., USA
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Anita Pell reminds us that ‘every child has a right to a happy and healthy childhood filled with memories that will build their resilience for future life challenges.’ If they do not get this chance with their birth families, foster carers can play a vital role in their physical and emotional healing and growth.

Anita believes that there needs to be large-scale reform in Australia’s foster care systems. Australia, as in some other countries, has seen a growing need for foster carers combined with a diminishing number of people willing to do it. Anita’s Churchill Fellowship was in 2008 on this complex topic.

Anita travelled to the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States to see what strategies overseas jurisdictions used to manage the sometimes difficult issue of recruiting and retaining foster carers.

On her return Anita worked with the University of NSW on a comprehensive report advocating for the reform of the foster care system in Australia.

Anita developed a model for a Professionalised Foster Care System and has presented this model to a wide range of decision makers and practitioners across Australia in her quest to bring about change. She has had particular success in improving the training and supervision of foster carers, and she is currently working to create better support networks amongst carers.

As a result of her Fellowship she has been able to make great strides towards developing a more professional foster care system in Australia that will create better results for children in care.

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