On Tuesday the 17th of January, Westcare welcomed the Commissioner for Children and Young People Liana Buchanan for a tour of our facilities and to meet some of our staff, foster carers, as well as children and young people in care.
After meeting with Westcare’s Senior Management team for an introductory session about the agency and the support services that it provides to vulnerable children, the Commissioner met and associated with Westcare’s Sunshine office staff over morning tea.
Commissioner Buchanan meeting with Westcare's Senior Management Team- Peter Annesley, Andrea Clements, Peter Mulholland, Sharon Mulholland and Chris Jones
The Commissioner took the opportunity to touch upon the shared goals that Westcare, The Commission for Children and Young People and the Out-of-home-care sector are all striving to achieve.
“We will agree on some points and argue upon others but we all have the common goal of promoting the wellbeing of young people in care and ensuring their safety is of the upmost importance”.
The Commissioner then travelled with Westcare’s General Manager, Peter Mulholland, to visit one of Westcare’s Therapeutic Residential Care Units.
The Commissioner received a tour of the unit, which transitioned into a TRCU unit in 2009, and listened to staff talk about the focus and positive impact that the unit has on the trauma recovery of young people who have experienced significant trauma in their childhood.
The Commissioner was also thrilled to see a number of artworks created by young people hanging in the unit’s very own therapeutic art room, which is a dedicated space that young people can use to create artworks of their own in a safe tranquil environment.
Residential Program Manager Paul Rigg, General Manager Peter Mulholland and Residential Services Manager Peter Annesley providing a tour of one of Westcare's Therapuetic Residential Care Units for
The day finished up with lunch at Westcare Foster Care, giving the Commissioner a chance to meet with volunteer foster carers, foster care staff and children in care.
The Commissioner voiced her pleasure at being able to meet with foster carers and praised the carer’s work with children and young people.
“You all contribute greatly to the lives of these children. It’s an honor to meet you and I thank-you for the hard work that you do.”
Meeting with Westcare Foster Carers, Kerry and Amanda
For Peter Mulholland, meeting with the Commissioner was a great opportunity to shine a light on the services that Westcare provides and to exchange and discuss ideas for improving outcomes for children and young people.
“It was great that the Commissioner made her time available to tour our facilities and meet with the hard working staff and foster carers, and hear their stories as they strive to achieve the best results with children and young people they are responsible for”.