My Forever Family hosts Information Session to address urgent need for carers of older children in Southwest Sydney
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 the Southwestern Sydney region, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free online Becoming a Carer For Kids Information Session for local residents on Thursday 3 March from 7pm-8pm.
The session will raise awareness about the critical need for more people to become involved in caring for children and young people who can’t safely live at home.
The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that 55 per 1000 children and young people are living in out-of-home care in the Southwestern Sydney region compared with eight 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.
Children like 13 year old Noah*, who is in Year 7 and likes the same things many boys his age do – kicking a footy and playing PlayStation. He is also a talented musician. Noah needs a home with routine, structure and stability to help him flourish in school and a mentor to plan fun outings with, giving Noah activities to look forward to.
At 12 years old Abby* loves to dance. If you want to learn the latest TikTok dance than she’s the one who can show you! Abby is in Year 7 but her schooling has been interrupted in the last year and she would greatly benefit from stability and structure at home. Abby would really thrive in a safe and secure home where she feels nurtured and older or younger siblings would be a bonus!
Alofa* (11) has been described by those who know him as having a kind soul. He loves being outdoors and playing football, AFL and rugby league, but basketball is his absolute favourite sport. He would love a home with structure and routine where he can stay connected to his friends, his school and his church.
Kristy-Lee* (8) is a funny and caring girl who loves animals, cooking, making slime, arts and crafts and dancing. She loves talking to people as well as being active riding her bike and playing on the trampoline.
The information session will inform potential carers of the different types 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.
Local carer Sarah (surname withheld), who is currently in the final stages of adopting the children in her care, encourages people to attend the information session. “This is an important service that you can provide for a child whose world has been turned upside down. Ask lots of questions. Speak to people who have gone ahead of you on that journey.”
While there will be a focus on information about caring for Noah, Abby, Alofa, Kristy-lee and other specific children 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.
While becoming the full-time carer of a child may not suit everyone, options such as emergency or part-time care introduce the idea of becoming part of a child’s extended support network for one night (emergency care), a weekend once a month or on school holidays (part-time care).
Michelle Stacpoole, My Forever Family NSW Spokesperson talks about the significance of the program for the local community. “There are many children like Noah, Abby, Alofa and Kristy-lee right here in our local community. Being a carer for kids is not a one size fits all, and there are many ways you can help children thrive. This session is 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