My Forever Family NSW comes to Broken Hill to provide training and support and address the urgent need for more local carers.

Posted on 18 January 2023

Media Release
Monday 30thMay 2022  

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

My Forever Family NSW is coming to Broken Hill with a range of events to bring carers in the region together for training, support and connection.

To find and inform potential new carers in Broken Hill, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer Information Session for locals at Broken Hill Civic Centre on Tuesday, 7th June from 5:30pm. 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 a staggering 15 children and young people per 1000 are living in out of home care in Broken Hill and Far West region compared with 9 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.

My Forever Family NSW will also be holding a series of free training sessions at Broken Hill Civic Centre for existing carers in the region on select topics, including Trauma Informed Parenting. There will also be a Carer Reference Group for carers to come together to work in collaboration with their agencies on issues affecting carers in Far West NSW, as well as a Carer Support Group Dinner, enabling carers to discuss opportunities for peer support in the district. 

These sessions will inform potential and current 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 others.

Broken Hill carer Sharon* is passionate about providing a secure home for children and young people in the region for short periods of time whenever she can.

“Sharing my life and home with a young person has made my life more purposeful. It’s so rewarding seeing them learn new skills and achieve their goals. All they need is a safe and nurturing home and encouragement and support, it makes me so happy to be a person they can trust and turn to whenever they need throughout their life.”

Speaking on the unique experience of providing part-time care Sharon remarked, 

“The children that come to stay with me part-time become part of my family. My whole family is very supportive, and my kids and nephews and nieces make connections with the children, it really enriches their lives as well. Some of the children I see regularly, and the whole family looks forward to it. One girl wasn’t able to find a permanent placement. At 13 she came to me part-time and now she comes up one weekend per month and we chat on messenger or the phone. She likes to know she has someone in her corner and it’s incredibly rewarding to be that person for her.”

While there will be a focus on information about part-time care for 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.

“We are looking for singles, couples, and families who can offer something different to a child in care. 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 part-time 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 considering becoming carers 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 https://www.eventsforchange.org.au/infosession

You can find more information about My Forever Family NSW at www.myforeverfamily.org.au/

*Names have been changed

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For all media enquiries or to request an interview, please contact:
My Forever Family NSW Marketing & Communications team
P: 1300 782 975
E: media@myforeverfamily.org.au