It’s Foster Care Week and the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) is using this time to remind the community that with almost 20,000 children in NSW unable to live at home, there is an urgent need for many more foster carers who are able to support restoration of children to their birth families, offer immediate or respite care, or move towards guardianship or open adoption of children in their care.
ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum says that while public awareness of the need for people to provide loving and stable homes for the state’s most vulnerable children and young people has grown in recent years, understanding of the range of caring options is still limited.
“We need to attract people with a strong desire to support children to return home to their birth families, as well as those who wish to take the more permanent step towards open adoption or guardianship.
There is also a huge need for carers with the ability to offer emergency care to children when they are first removed from their homes.
“Providing immediate care to children at risk of harm is a vital service to the community,” Mr McCallum said.
“This requires people not only to be flexible and responsive, but to have attributes such as patience, empathy and resilience.”
According to ACWA, everyday people from all walks of life can provide care, from single people, young or old, married and same sex couples and caring professionals, to empty nesters and people from different cultures and religious backgrounds.
People interested in finding out more about the range of ways to provide care to a vulnerable child can visit the Fostering NSW website: www.fosteringnsw.com.au or call 1800 236 783.