Connect in Australia

The Connect program for kinship parents is currently being implemented and evaluated in a feasibility randomized-control trial in Canberra, Australia. The Connecting Kin Research Project aims to evaluate the implementation of the Connect for Kinship Parents program and its effects on family outcomes and placement stability. The trial involves a collaboration between Dr. Dave Pasalich, ANU; Dr. Marlene Moretti, SFU; and the ACT Child and Youth Protection Services. Connect is being delivered by trained staff in child welfare services.

Facilitator training for Connect for foster/kinship parents was held at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia in January 2018. Staff from various child welfare services and the education department were invited to attend the three day workshop.

The project is envisaged to develop capacity for the ongoing delivery of Connect in Australia and provide preliminary data on the effectiveness of the Connect program for kinship families. More information about the Connecting Kin Research Project can be found on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry:

https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=373161&isReview=true

Since 2018, in partnership with ACT Children, Youth and Families and OOHC agencies, we have successfully implemented several Connect groups for kinship parents as well as for foster carers. This has led to a growing number of practitioners achieving certification as Connect facilitators, which will promote program sustainability. We presented preliminary results from our ongoing pilot RCT of Connect for Kinship Parents at the International Attachment Conference in Vancouver, 2019. We’re very encouraged by the increasing interest in and demand for the Connect program in the community, and are looking forward to conducting more training in and implementation of Connect in Australia.

For more information about Connect in Australia, please contact Dr. Dave Pasalich; dave.pasalich@anu.edu.au