Carer KaFÉ Carer Retreat

Carer KaFÉ was pleased to host the first carer retreat for 2022. Facilitated by the Foster Care Association Victoria (FCAV) at the beautiful Bellinzona Hotel, Hepburn Springs in June 2022.

The two-day Carer Retreat aimed to support and celebrate the resilience of carers and provide an opportunity to reflect on their caring journey through shared learning and networking. Carers participated in relaxed training and mindfulness sessions as well as a focus on self-care to enhance feelings of safety, health, and happiness

Twenty-seven foster and kinship carers attend and really appreciated the opportunity to come together from a variety of agencies including Anchor, Anglicare, Berry Street, Life without Barriers, MDAS, Oz Child, Uniting and VACCA.

We started Day one with a Welcome to Country by Troy Firebrace, a proud Dja Dja Traditional Owner, and he not only provided some valuable cultural education, but also gave the group a beautiful Didgeridoo demonstration.

Over the two days Joanie Bartolo, principal consultant of Emotion Wise ran training on Emotional Intelligence and Managing Anger which was very well received by many carers. One of the teachings from Joanie was that anger is an emotion, but you need to decide on the type of person you want to be, which includes whether you be the boss of your anger or whether you want it to be the boss of you and this is a great way to explain this to a child in care when they are not managing their emotions.\

As part of our self-care sessions, we included meditation, mindfulness, a hand massage, and a commitment to self-care.  Many found the walking meditation very relaxing and helpful. Even through the day was cold and windy, it was therapeutic getting out into nature and feeling the crisp air, the natural sounds, and feeling of calm around the Daylesford Lake.

Retreat photos

Some testimonials from carers after attending the retreat:

  • I am grateful for the opportunity of attending this retreat, make new connections with other carers and learn. Relaxing and learn to validate feelings (my own) without feeling guilty. The help to attend was fantastic and I felt fully supported as a carer. 
  • This saved my placement! It reminded me of the challenges the child faces.
  • Was great to be surrounded by others who understand exactly what I’m going through. It was helpful topics and great resources to add to my 'pantry'.
  • Thank you so much for this weekend. I didn't know just how much I needed it.
  • Lovely environment, great food, very enjoyable.

Carer KaFÉ is delighted to know that these carers enjoyed their time at the retreat and would like to thank all carers for the valuable role they take in caring for vulnerable children and young people.

Make sure to join our Mailing List to be notifed when our next Retreat is being held.

The Carer Kafe Team


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