A call for more foster carers in mid-north coast

CatholicCare director, Gary Christensen, recently met with Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward and local member, Stephen Bromhead MP, in Forster to discuss the need for foster carers throughout the Hunter.

In a media release issued by Stephen Bromhead after the meeting, Ms Goward is quoted as saying: “It was great to meet with Gary and hear about the ways CatholicCare is trying to recruit more carers through their Permanency Support Program (PSP) model.

“We are looking for a diverse range of people to become carers, people who are willing to work alongside birth families as restoration carers so that kids can return home, people who want a lifelong commitment to children through open adoption and people who would like to be guardians or provide respite care,” she said.

In late 2017, the NSW Government introduced the Permanency Support Program, the mandate of which is to give “every child and young person a loving home for life, whether that be with parents, extended family or kin, or through open adoption or guardianship”.

The goal is to ensure a child or young person who experiences vulnerability will find a permanent home within two-years.

The need for foster carers in New South Wales and the Hunter

According to the Maitland Mercury, in New South Wales there are 20,000 children in need of foster care. Of these children, 49% are located right here in the Hunter Valley. CatholicCare aims to help meet the demand for carers by hosting open information sessions to help prospective carers learn more about foster care and open adoption.

According to CatholicCare’s website, it’s looking to recruit carers with “resilience, carers with the capacity to help a child who has experienced trauma to heal. Carers need patience to navigate the child’s behaviour and have an understanding of the impact past experiences and people have on the child’s outlook on life.

“I’m proud that CatholicCare is working so hard locally and partnering with the NSW Government to support the most vulnerable children in our community,” Mr Bromhead said.

My Forever Family

The NSW Government is committed to supporting foster carers through the My Forever Family program which was announced in May 2018. According to the Adopt Change website, the My Forever Family initiative “focuses on the recruitment, training and support of guardians, adoptive parents and foster carers, to ensure more children grow up in permanent, nurturing and safe homes.

“Children and young people come into care through no fault of their own,” Mr Christensen said.

“CatholicCare is committed to working in partnership with the NSW Government and My Forever Family to ensure children and young people have a permanent loving safe home for life.

“We are calling on members of the Mid Coast community to join with us in responding to the needs of children coming into care.

“If you have room in your home and in your heart, please contact us and attend our upcoming information session in Forster on 14 June to learn more,” Mr Christensen implored.

Who can be a foster carer?

Foster carers can be single, married or in a de facto relationship and from any religious background.

Carers should ideally be over the age of 25, an Australian citizen or permanent resident, in good health and without a criminal record.

Please click here for more information about becoming a foster carer.

Follow mnnews.today on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.