The families, friends and carers of our consumers are very important people who help to carry the hope for consumers. Family and carers help continues throughout the consumers journey towards discharge into the community. Importantly, they also help to maintain the connection between consumers and their children.
Forensicare is committed to providing a service to family and carers which follows the principles of Family Sensitive Practice. Family Sensitive Practice is promoted in the following ways:
Families & Carers Advocate Team
The Family and Carer Advocate Team fulfils the role of ‘Carer Consultants’ across Forensicare’s services. One of the main requirements for the holder of this position is to have current or previous direct experience of being a family/ carer for a person with a serious mental health issue who has been treated within the public mental health system. This hands-on experience provides authenticity to the position.
The key responsibilities for our Families & Carers Advocates are to provide:
- direct support (face to face, by phone, or by email) to families and friends of Forensicare patients and clients
- secondary consultation to staff about all sorts of family/carer support needs
- presentation to new staff during their orientation
- training on family sensitive practice work alongside clinical staff to graduate and post-graduate nurses
- attendance at Family Meetings (by request of the family/carer)
Families & Carers Rights & Responsibilities
The Carers Recognition Act 2012 acknowledges the important role of carers and introduced the principle that, where appropriate, carers should be involved in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that affect them and the care relationship.
Families and carers are important contributors to the care and wellbeing of our consumers and their ongoing recovery. Every effort is made to support the role of families and carers and to encourage and promote their involvement in all elements of our service delivery.
Our Statement of Carers Rights and Responsibilities outlines how Forensicare will work in partnership with families and carers to bring about the best possible healthcare outcomes for consumers.
Carer Support Funding
This funding is available to make life easier for the family/carer, particularly to visit Thomas Embling Hospital. Some of the funds have been used for travel costs from interstate plus accommodation, taxi vouchers, petrol cards and help with car repairs.
Well Ways (Forensicare)
Well Ways (Forensicare) is a Mental Illness Fellowship program that has been specifically adapted for caregivers of people with mental illness, who also have contact with Forensicare or the criminal justice system. Participants have reported a sense of relief at being able to access family education and support in the context of the patients’ offending, as well as their mental illness.
For more information about families and carers support at Forensicare and the Families & Carers Consultants on 9495 9100.