Week to celebrate foster care
FROM this Sunday, 12 September, Cafs will be taking part in local celebrations of Foster Care Week.
Running until Saturday, 18 September, the seven days are designed to spotlight the importance of foster care which supports children – from infants to adolescents – throughout the community, and champion the valuable and generous people providing nurturing, practical, emotional and healing care.
CEO Wendy Sturgess said Cafs is also using the week as an opportunity to encourage more individuals and families to consider becoming foster carers.
“Foster carers provide an essential service for children who are unable to stay in their family home,” she said.
“This financial year, Cafs’ foster carers cared for 79 children through this program in either ongoing or emergency placements.
“We had 99 enquiries from families to become foster carers, and we recruited 11 new foster carers this year.
From this Sunday, a six-part video series produced by Cafs will be live on their YouTube and Facebook pages, sharing the perspectives and stories of foster carers who have welcomed children into their homes, and hearts.
The clips aim to educate potential foster carers and debunk myths.
“Cafs is excited to be sharing what the foster care experience is like from the point of view of a Cafs foster carer,” Ms Sturgess said.
“We hope that by sharing this first-hand experience, there may be more members from the community that will be willing to take the first step in becoming a foster carer.”
Manager of home-based care Tracey Savage said Cafs’ pool of foster carers is a diverse one.
“Foster carers come from many different backgrounds. They can be single, or have a partner, have no children or have children of their own,” she said.
“They can rent or own their home, work, study or be retired and can be from any culture, religion or sexual orientation.
“If you can provide a safe and nurturing home for a child, we want to hear from you.”
Foster carer Lee Van Leeuwen said the Cafs’ team, including case managers and practitioners, have a “beautiful” nature.
“They’ve always got your back. Especially during COVID, they’re always phoning to ask, ‘are you ok? Do you need anything?’ They’re wonderful people,” she said.