Urgent need for carers of older children in Batemans Bay

Posted on 5 May 2022

My Forever Family NSW spotlight Urgent Need for Carers of Older Children in Batemans Bay with Information Session. 

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 Batemans Bay and 16,160 children living in out-of-home care in the state of NSW.

To find and inform potential new carers in Batemans Bay, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer Information Session for locals at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club on Thursday, May 5th from 5:30-7pm. The session will raise awareness about the critical need for more people to become involved in caring for children and young people currently living in the state care system.

The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that 9 children and young people per 1000 are living in out of home care in the Batemans Bay region. These are children and young people who can’t live safely with their family and need a safe and nurturing place to call home.

The session will focus on the need for carers for older children and teenagers in the Batemans Bay region, to ensure that children in care can thrive and continue to form strong bonds with their families and community.

The information session will inform potential carers of the different options of care available and 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.

Batemans Bay foster carer Sarah* has formed a strong bond with 11-year-old Belinda*, whom she cares for and is passionate about ensuring older children have a safe home.

“It’s an incredibly rewarding experience opening up your home and life to a young person. I find it to be a mutually enriching experience and sharing my life with a young person has given my life more purpose and has transformed my house into a family home. I’m honoured to be a safe person she can trust and turn to for support throughout her life.”

Speaking on the unique experience of caring for older children, Sarah remarked on strengthening her relationship with Belinda through shared interests and nurturing her goals,

“Looking after an older child or teenager is more than just meeting their basic needs. It’s also about being their mentor and biggest supporter. Connecting with an older child that has already developed a sense of the world and helping them learn skills to be able to succeed in life is that much more meaningful. She has an interest in cooking and gardening, and I’m able to share my knowledge and passion with her and she gains a vital life skill. I’ve also been able to role model leadership through my work in the community and recently her teachers have mentioned that she’s stepping up for leadership roles. It gives me a great sense of pride to see her flourish at school and out in the community.”

While there will be a focus on information about caring for older children and young people in the local community, there are many different types of care options available to suit individual and family circumstances, all of which will be covered.

My Forever Family NSW Spokesperson, Michelle Stacpoole talked about the significance of the program for the local community and the urgent need for carers. “Being a carer for kids is not a one size fits all. There are many ways you can help children 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 this special online information session please go to www.eventsforchange.org.au/infosession

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*Names have been changed