KARI Aboriginal Resources Incorporated (KARI) was established in 1999 as a not-for-profit community organisation based at Liverpool in Sydney's South West. Founded with a vision to become a quality Aboriginal service provider to Aboriginal communities KARI commenced its operations with just two staff. The initial program began with the recruiting and training of Aboriginal foster carers and a shared-care approach for 20 Aboriginal children and young people requiring out of home care.
Since commencement the service has grown significantly in program delivery and service operation and is now recognised as being the largest accredited Aboriginal Children's Service in NSW. Over time the service's "Out of Home Care Program" OOHC model has changed significantly to where we are now responsible for the full case management of our children and young people. This now allows us to be more effective in assuring culturally significant influences are included within our service delivery. Recognised as being a leader in its field KARI continues to recruit quality Aboriginal people who are then provided with an extensive training and assessment process. Once successfully completed the new carers then join the KARI foster care team.
Another important aspect of our service growth has been the establishment of the KARI Clinic, a comprehensive program that provides various assessments for the health and development of the children and young people who enter our OOHC Program. In 2008 the Clinic was awarded the Premier's Excellence Award for Health, Wellbeing, Body and Mind as well as the NSW Aboriginal Health Award for Strengthening Aboriginal Families & Children. The Clinic continues to grow and with this so do the accolades.
Our KARI Community Programs has been a part of our service delivery since July 2003 and it too has seen an increase in the programs that we provide to our community. The Community Programs' four main programs are: Brighter Futures, Early Intervention and Prevention, Community Training and Development, Community Unity and other programs designed to meet the needs of the community. KARI offers community funding opportunities via its Community Grants initiative by supporting social and economic equality. Some of our exciting and innovative programs include our High School Scholarship Program for students in years 11 and 12, and an array of in-school programs to support Aboriginal education outcomes. Other great programs delivered include our Father and Son's camp; Mothers & Children's camp; Music & Singing, Vocal Identification Program.
KARI is committed to providing programs and services that are sustainable and of a high quality that ultimately provide benefits to our community. KARI's continued growth and service reputation has been hard won and we are now recognised by many as being one of the state's leading Aboriginal service providers. KARI continues to aim high and we are determined to be the best for our community.
KARI's service clients are:
- Aboriginal children and young people who have been placed in OOHC.
- These clients are aged between 0 and 18 years and have been removed from their birth families and placed in the care of FACS; and subsequently transferred across to KARI for care
- KARI takes responsibility for full case management of clients
- Aboriginal foster carers - KARI recruits, assesses, trains and supports Aboriginal foster carers
- Aboriginal youth - KARI supports Aboriginal youth with programs and initiatives focussed on academic achievements, cultural activities, the arts, increasing self-esteem, self-development and strengthening family unity
- Aboriginal elders - KARI provides programs and initiatives to cater for elder members of our community
- Aboriginal families - KARI implements programs and initiatives around family building unity, harmony and vulnerable Aboriginal families
- Aboriginal community groups
- Business partners - KARI has relationships with external consultants and partners linked with local, state and federal agencies
KARI's stakeholders are:
- Children and young people, individuals and families from Aboriginal communities
- NSW Family and Community Services
- NSW Department of Education
- Indigenous Lands Corporation
- Aboriginal service providers
- Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
- Other Like Service Partners
- NSW Police Service
- Local businesses
- Corporate Australia
Service Coverage Area
Traditionally KARI has serviced the Aboriginal community in the South West Area of Sydney. This broadly corresponds to the Liverpool, Campbelltown, Bowral, Camden, Bankstown and Inner West Local Government Areas. While this is still our base, in recent years our service has expanded beyond into the Metro West and Metro Central regions of Sydney. In practice this means KARI now operates wherever it can effectively deliver quality services and outcomes for Aboriginal people.