My Forever Family NSW comes to Newcastle to address the urgent need for more local carers.
Thursday 16th June 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 Newcastle and 16,160 children living in out-of-home care in the state of NSW.
To find and inform potential new carers in Newcastle, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer for Kids Information Session for locals at NEX 309 King St, Newcastle West on Thursday, 23rd 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 17 children and young people per 1000 are living in out of home care in Newcastle and Hunter 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.
The session will focus on the need for part-time carers in the Newcastle and Hunter region, to ensure that children in care can thrive and continue to form strong bonds with their families and community. Part-time or respite carers provide a secure home for children and young people for short periods of time such as weekends, once a month or during school holidays.
The information session will also 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.
Carer Sharron is passionate about providing a secure home for children and young people in the region for short periods of time whenever she can.
“Community and connection have been a large part of my life and by sharing my life and home with a young person, in a way I’ve been able to give back to my community. It’s so rewarding seeing a child learn new skills and to achieve their goals. All they need is a safe and nurturing home and, it makes me so happy to be able to provide not only a roof over their head but support and encouragement that they will carry with them as they grow.”
Speaking on the unique experience of providing part-time care Sharron remarked,
“I think part-time care is a great place to start for people looking to become carers, if they want to see what it’s like and see what their capacity is. My husband and I have cared for a number of children and young people on a monthly basis and have really enjoyed it. We were able to plan ahead and make sure that the time we had with the young person was fun and meaningful for them. Some of those weekends are just downtime getting to know each other, learning skills like cooking together and other times we’ll go on camping trips as a family.”
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/
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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