The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) is using Foster Care Week 2016, which runs from September 11 to 17, to promote the rewards of foster caring in a bid to help fill a shortage in NSW of more than 600 carers.
Now into its 26th year, Foster Care Week launches today with ACWA’s annual Foster Care Picnic Day. Celebrations are being held throughout the week in communities right across NSW to honour the extraordinary people who bring support and stability to our most vulnerable children. The week culminates on September 17 with the annual Kids in Care Cup, which will see 16 Aboriginal rugby league teams represent their region in a statewide knockout competition to help highlight the particularly high need in NSW for Aboriginal carers.
ACWA Acting CEO Dr Wendy Foote says the theme of this year’s Foster Care Week – Be Part of an Amazing Journey, Foster a Child’s Future – reflects the ultimate rewards that can flow from giving children the gift of a loving home, whether that be on a temporary or more permanent basis.
“The rewards of fostering are enormous, and of course providing secure loving care to children can be the one thing that makes a difference in the child’s life and ensures their future,” Dr Foote said.
“Many consider being a foster carer to be a calling.”
Fostering NSW, a partnership between the NSW Government and non-government out-of-home care agencies and managed by ACWA, is seeking to attract 660 new foster carers in the coming year to help address a shortfall created by the rising number of children and young people being removed into care. There are currently almost 20,000 children and young people in care in NSW.
“Foster carers play an invaluable role in our community and out-of-home care agencies work hard to provide them the right support, training and guidance to ensure they are well equipped to meet the complexities and challenges they may face along the way,” Dr Foote said.
“NSW is lucky to have exceptional people like this in our community who are dedicated to giving vulnerable children and young people a safe second chance. As long as the number of children entering care continues to climb we are always going to need more carers.”
Foster carers are needed in NSW for all types of care, from emergency, respite and short term carers able to support restoration of children to their birth families, to carers wishing to progress to guardianship or open adoption.
Everyday people from all walks of life can be foster carers, from single people, young or old, married, same sex couples and caring professionals, to empty nesters and people from different cultures and religious backgrounds.
People interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer can visit the Fostering NSW website: www.fosteringnsw.com.au or call 1800 236 783.
To hear what carers have to say about fostering, go to The Foster Forum www.fosteringnsw.com.au/forums/forum/fostering-nsw-foster-forum/ or join the conversation on Facebook www.facebook.com/ACWAFosteringNSW
The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is the peak body for out-of-home care agencies in NSW.
To arrange an interview with ACWA Acting CEO Dr Wendy Foote please contact:
M: 0418 659 525
To arrange an interview with a foster carer please contact:
M: 0413 363 232