Amid critical shortage of carers in Murrumbidgee and Albury, urgent call to talk to people who understand life with teenagers and are interested in becoming a carer
My Forever Family NSW supports, trains and advocates for foster and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents who bring stability to the lives of children and young people in care. There remains a critical shortage of carers in the Murrumbidgee district and 15,895 children living in out-of-home care in the state of NSW. But not all children needing care are young, with call to people to consider caring for teenagers.
Not all children needing care are infants or young kids. Right now, there are teenagers in the community who need a safe place to call home. To find and inform potential new carers in Murrumbidgee region, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer for Teenagers Information Session for locals on Thursday 11th May from 5:30pm-7pm at PCYC Albury. The session will raise urgent need for carers for older children and teenagers in the Murumbidgee and Albury region, to ensure that children in care can thrive and continue to form strong bonds with their families and community.
Anyone who has the time and skills to provide a safe place for a teenager, and understands what it’s like to navigate homework, sporting commitments and teen-related issues is encouraged to come along, to help support these young people in need.
The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that a staggering 12 children and young people per 1000 are living in out-of home care in the Murumbidgee region compared with nine in 1000 across the whole of NSW. These are children and young people who can’t live safely with their family and need a safe and nurturing place to call home.
Older carer Beth has formed a strong bond with Nikita* who came into her care, “I’m an older woman, I lost my husband eight years ago and I was left with a house with empty bedrooms. I thought there’s got to be a child that needs a bed. Not long after completing the foster carer training Nikita came into my life and I have found myself in a beautiful new season of life helping her achieve her goals.”
Beth describes Nikita as an inquisitive and bright young girl who has expressed a shared an interest in baking and gardening. “Being an older child, she is always curious about learning, and it gives me joy to share my knowledge of baking and gardening. We have been propagating succulents from the garden to put in her room. It’s not just care giving, I’m always sharing my knowledge with her, and she teaches me about her world as a young person. She’s been a blessing in disguise. The house isn’t empty anymore, it has noise and life in it. So, it sounds like a family home again.”
There are many different types of care options available to suit individual and family circumstances, all of which will be covered at the information session. The event will be an opportunity to ask questions of local agencies, be introduced to the services of My Forever Family NSW and hear the first-hand experiences of current carers.
My Forever Family NSW Spokesperson, Michelle Stacpoole talks about the significance of the program for the local community and the urgent need for carers.
“Being a carer for teenagers is not a one size fits all. There are many ways you can help teenagers thrive. These sessions are an opportunity to ask questions about becoming a carer in an open and relaxed setting, and to chat directly with those who have lived experience as carers. It’s a chance for people to considering becoming carers now to understand the next steps and we also welcome people who are considering this option for the future to come along and find out more.”
For more information on the information session please go to https://www.eventsforchange.org.au/infosession
You can find more information about My Forever Family NSW at www.myforeverfamily.org.au/
*Name changed to protect privacy
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