The Fostering and Permanency staff recently had their Applications of Framework training updated. It helped to remind us of the crucial tools that we use for trauma-based care like active listening, the iceberg analogy, the stress bucket, the four questions.

Are any of these familiar to you? Would you like some training on these? Your Case worker can spend time with you to explain and help you understand the words we use and the practicalities behind them or arrange for some training for you to help in your overall care for your child or young person.


Where is your Stress Bucket up                      to?


Are you familiar with the Stress bucket Theory?

Imagine you have a stress bucket inside your body. It is filled with everyday things such as relationships, home life, work, illness or finance worries. We all have stress buckets of different sizes, and so we vary in how much stress we can individually manage and things that we react to.

Sometimes our buckets can feel empty and other times they are close to running over. An event that we find very stressful, may be only slightly stressful or no stress at all for someone else. This is ok- we are all different.

When you are going through a difficult time, it’s normal for you to feel stressed. In other words, your stress bucket feels full. You might feel like too much stress is pouring into your bucket and you feel overwhelmed. In stress bucket terms, you feel like your bucket is overflowing. This will look different for everyone, but common signs of your stress bucket overflowing can include:

  • Feeling burnt out
  • Feeling snappy or irritable 
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Feeling low and tearful

If you notice yourself feeling like this, it means your bucket is overflowing. It’s important to ‘open your tap’, engage in some positive coping strategies and let some stress out. These may include:

  • Socialising
  • Exercise
  • Taking a break
  • Asking for help
  • Taking some time for self-care

What works for you may not work for another person. It can be helpful to start with something you know works before trying something new, but it’s important for you to do what it takes to let the stress out of your bucket.

Take five minutes to reflect on the sorts of ‘taps’ or positive coping strategies you might already have in your skillset. It can be helpful to think back to a time when you found something stressful and reflect on how you coped with this. Often we can underestimate the skills we already have in managing our own stress bucket.

Wanting a break from cooking?


Newy With Kids has put together a ‘Kids Eat Free Guide’ for Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter. The list includes venues where kids can eat free (or cheap) and is organised in days of the week. If you are interested, follow the link:

Kids Eat Free in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & The Hunter - Newy with Kids

If you have young children or kids that would enjoy play equipment while you enjoy your meal, there is also a guide to kid-friendly restaurants. Follow the link:

Eating Out With Kids: 40+ Newcastle Family-Friendly Spots with Playgrounds & Kids Areas - Newy with Kids


Whole-Brain Strategy #10:

Exercising Mindsight: Getting back to the Hub


Before you can use Strategy 10 from The Whole-Brain Child, you have to understand what mindsight is. Siegel and Bryson describe mindsight as, “understanding our own mind as well as understanding the mind of another.”

They go on to describe our mind:

“… as a bicycle wheel with a hub at the center and spokes radiating toward the outer rim. The rim represents anything we can pay attention to or become aware of: our thoughts and feelings, our dreams and desires, our memories, our perceptions of the outside world, and the sensations from our body. The hub is the inner place of the mind from which we become aware of all that’s happening around and within us … Our awareness resides in the hub, and from here we can focus on the various points on the rim of our wheel.”

We can have a lot swirling around in our head (the rim), but we learn to focus or not focus (the hub) on specific things. Many of our children haven’t learned this. They are focusing on thoughts, feelings, images that are negative, and they need to learn that they can change what they are focusing on.

Siegel and Bryson suggest teaching your children how to focus on their breath during nervous, anxious or difficult times to calm themselves, so they can change their focus from the rim to their hub. “Even as young as four or five, kids can learn to focus on their breath. A good technique is to have them lie down and place a toy—like a boat—on their stomach. Ask them to focus on the boat, watching it rise and fall as it rides the waves of breath.”

My daughter and I have not been able to recreate the activity of lying down with a toy on her stomach. I do find myself suggesting she take a break, breathe, and focus on what her body is telling her. One weekday morning, Elise knew she had a fun activity that day, yet every encounter we had with her that morning was a blow up. She was stuck in a funk. For example, “Elise, do you want milk or juice?” Her reply, “Fine, I just won’t drink anything! You never get me anything to drink!” It wasn’t really that bad, but you get the idea. After she took a break and focused, she told us that she was worried about the activity; we were able to navigate that issue with her. And she did great the rest of the morning and with the activity—she just needed to realiSe what she was paying attention to, what was going on in her body and then change it.

Practicing Strategy 10 will help your child get un-stuck and decide how they think and feel. It will take practice for you and your child. And you may not always get it right, but that’s okay—keep trying. Ultimately, by helping your child learn to get un-stuck, to get off the rim and back to their hub, you can help change your child’s brain. As Siegel and Bryson say, “it’s from [the hub] that we make our best decisions; it’s also the part of the brain that allows us to connect deeply to others and to ourselves.”

We want our children to make great decisions in the face of whatever life throws at them. In addition, we want them to connect in healthy relationships. This is why we must help our kids learn mindsight.


Is your pool or spa compliant?

Do we have a copy of your Compliance certificate? It is a requirement from The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), that all foster carer households have a current pool or spa compliance. If you could please apply for a Pool/Spa Compliance inspection from either poolinspections@icloud.com or your Local Council, before the expiry date, we would appreciate it.

Please keep your receipt for payment and Allambi Care will reimburse you after we have a copy of the certificate.

My Forever Family

MAY 1 | 10am to 12pm | Online | Understanding adoption of children in care

This 2 hour online training will provide a brief overview of some of the main adoption areas.

MAY 1 | 6pm to 10pm | Online | Cultural Connections- the Carers role

This workshop will be facilitated by AbSec who will equip you with the skills and knowledge to support the implementation of Cultural Care Plans and Cultural Support Plans for the Aboriginal children in your care. 

MAY 2 | 10am to 12pm | Online |  Advocating for your child with disability

Children generally do not have a voice in the decisions that affect them, therefore parents and carers must act as the voice or advocate for their children. For parents and carers of children with additional needs, this need is particularly strong, to ensure that children receive the services and supports that are in their best interests.

MAY 2 | 7:30pm to 9:30pm | Online | The impact of Pornography on Children and Youth in Out of Home Care

The focus of the training will be on practical skill-building aimed at addressing the various impacts of pornography on children and young people; specifically thinking about how we keep younger children safe and away from pornography and for older youth how we might educate them to be ‘savvy consumers’ when it comes to them ‘decoding’ pornography and its impacts. 

MAY 3 | 7pm to 8pm | Online | Catch up for a Cuppa with Kylie Anderson

This session will be an open platform guided by Kylie Anderson, who will be there to answer your questions and provide resources to support you.

MAY 8 | 10am to 11am | Online | Lounge Room - Ask a cultural expert!

Join us for an hour in the Online Lounge Room where we can talk through the issues we are experiencing with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child kids, in a safe, supportive environment, and work toward a tailored solution.

MAY 14 | 10am to 2pm | Online | Practical applications of cultural plans

This training provides practical information and strategies for carers to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their role in the development and implementation of Aboriginal Cultural Support Planning for Aboriginal children and young people. This training session aims to extend carers' learning from the AbSec Cultural Connections training.

MAY 15 | 10am to 12pm | Online | Services Australia- access services for all Non-Parent carers.

Keeping on top of payments and entitlements can be hard for non-parent carers. In NSW, Grandparent Foster Kinship Advisers support non-parent carers. They offer tailored information about payments and support services, arrange appointments with specialist staff such as social workers, and help provide access to government services including Centrelink and Medicare. 


MAY 29 | 10am to 12pm | Online  | The end of the world as you know it!

This training session is all about advocating for children in care - I am a foster carer, what now?


Assessment is complete, authorisation in hand….now what? Join us as we share hints and tips on how to survive the first 72 hours of a placement.


MAY 30 | 10am to 12pm | Online  | Managing family time after adoption/guardianship

Learn some helpful strategies in planning and facilitating family time that can help make life easier for everyone involved. Come along and join in some discussion with some case study presentations that may be just what you need to hear! 



For more information or to register for these training sessions go to:

Training opportunities for carers - My Forever Family NSW