Carer KaFÉ Carer Retreats

Carer KaFÉ hosted two Retreats in the second half of 2022.

The two-day Carer Retreats are 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.

The first retreat was facilitated by the Foster Care Association Victoria (FCAV) and Permanent Care Adoption Families (PCAF) in the seaside town of Torquay at the RACV Torquay in September.

Day one in Torquay started with a Welcome to Country by Barry Gilson - a Wadawurrung man and Traditional Owner. The gathering was well received by the group in an outdoor setting with a traditional smoking ceremony.

Over the two days there was a good balance between Chrissie Davies sharing her knowledge on Emotional Intelligence Child Behaviour & Trauma Informed Practices and the FCAV team sharing their knowledge in self-care. These sessions included meditation, mindfulness, a hand massage, and a commitment to self-care.  Many found the walking meditation very relaxing and helpful. It was therapeutic getting out into nature and smelling the sea air, the natural sounds, and feeling of calm around the setting.

Here are comments from some of our carers that attended the retreat in Torquay:

  • “What a fantastic, relaxing weekend. The topics were spot on. I feel so much more relaxed”
  • “Thank you for this opportunity to have a break from the daily duties and responsibilities - in this beautiful venue - beautiful views, some great people to connect with.”
  • “This was like winning tattslotto but in ways better! Everything in the one place - beautiful people, incredible professionals, amazing accommodation and food. I feel extremely spoilt. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
  • “I thought it was amazing. Absolutely everything was above what I expected.”

Permanent Carer retreat Torquay Group shot with all YES permission Sept 2022

The last retreat of 2022 was held at the beautiful RACV Goldfields Resort in Creswick in November and was facilitated by Foster Care Association Victoria (FCAV).

In Creswick we had twenty-five foster and kinship carers attend who really appreciated the opportunity to come together in a calming environment.

With a beautiful Welcome to Country by Troy Firebrace, a proud Dja Dja Traditional Owner. Troy included a moving Didgeridoo demonstration in the ceremony, and also provided the group with some valuable cultural education that was appreciated by the carers.

See some feedback here:

  • “It was a really good re-set time and it was great to connect with other carers.”
  • “The training was well presented. The weekend was really relaxing and something I needed.”
  • “Felt safe, supported, accepted and valued the connections made.”
  • “Was a fantastic opportunity to care for myself while also meeting like-minded people who I could connect with and form friendships.”

Creswick retreat

The group were guided by the FCAV facilitators Tessa and Deb, who shared their knowledge on self-care practices and invited the group to some meditation practices. Not only did the carers work on self-care, but they were also indulged with a 10-minute shoulder massage by some local massage therapists. The two days of self-care included a well-received safe-space clay activity, and a mindful work through the natural surrounds. The group enjoyed the sounds and views of the kangaroos along the walk and overall, it was great to see new connections and friendships formed this weekend.

Carer KaFÉ is delighted to know that the carers enjoyed their time at the retreats 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 retreats are being held in 2023.

The Carer Kafe Team


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