August 10, 2021
Published on Tuesday 19 January, 2021
Before transferring over to care with Lifestyle Solutions, 14-year-old Toby* had experienced 41 placement breakdowns over the past two years.
Toby expressed a strong desire to be placed with his family so Lifestyle Solutions Case Manager, Chris, was motivated to track down Toby’s family connections. He undertook a family finding process which identified Toby’s brother, Matt*, as a potential Kinship Carer.
“I was aware that this was a big responsibility for Matt, especially as he’s still quite young, however, he continued to make leaps and bounds and demonstrated a level of maturity well beyond his years,” said Chris.
Despite COVID-19 border restrictions not allowing face-to-face contact for the brothers, the two remained in frequent contact over the phone.
Matt’s determination to maintain connection with Toby sparked encouragement from an extended family member and Toby now had support from his brother and his Aunty Renee*.
“Throughout 2020, Matt and Renee maintained their connection with Toby and made sure they spoke with him every day so he knew he had family who loved and cared for him,” said Chris.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Matt and Renee were completing every step possible to become Toby’s authorised Kinship Carers, including Behaviour Support Training, step-by-step assessment and maintaining connection.
In October 2020, Toby entered an Alternative Care Arrangement (ACA) whilst the Lifestyle Solutions team continued to work closely with Renee, Matt and his partner Elle,* to finalise the process of becoming Kinship Carers so Toby could return home.
In December, Matt and Elle were approved as Kinship Carers and Renee was approved as Toby’s Respite Carer.
After 12 months of hard work and everchanging restrictions on interstate travel and border closures, Toby successfully transitioned into his Kinship placement.
Toby arrived in Queensland just three days before Christmas excited to finally be able to spend Christmas at home with his family.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.