Vital Call for More Homes for Older Children During Foster and Kindship Care Week

This year My Forever Family wants to send a clear message, ‘Older Kids Need Care Too’. With thousands of children 9 and over living in out-of-home care across the state, My Forever Family is in urgent need of more safe and nurturing family homes. During Foster and Kinship Care week the program will shine a light on some of the amazing carers throughout NSW and the tireless work they do.

Sunday, 13 September 2020: Today is the first day of Foster and Kinship Care week and normally the day My Forever Family would hold the annual Foster and Kinship Care family picnic. This year however is a little different, undeterred by the challenges of COVID, the program will hold the picnic for the first time online.

At this challenging time My Forever Family wants to focus the community’s attention on the need to find safe and nurturing homes for older children across the state.

Renee Carter CEO of Adopt Change the operator of the My Forever Family NSW program said, “We need an additional 350 homes across NSW to care for children in need right now. There are approximately 8,760 children age 9 and over living in out-of-home care in NSW including over 508 living in residential group homes. During 2020, the need is even greater for children in critical need of a permanent, safe and nurturing family home.”

“This week we’re excited to recognise the invaluable support, safety and stability foster and kinship carers provide to children across the state and to highlight the need for more people to get involved in caring.“ Said Carter.

Kylie Anderson reflected on her experience caring for older children and said, “When caring for older children there is such a need for carers to be able to sit in the heaviness and harshness of the emotions that these children so often find themselves in and have the strength and courage as carers to hold them in these moments, to become their ‘port in the storm’ as opposed to their ‘rescuer.”

“The sometimes extreme challenges that these children have faced prior to coming into our care are truly difficult to understand but it’s life changing when you can place a child on a different trajectory and help them onto a better path.“

My Forever Family Ambassador and AFI nominated actor Luke Carroll, discussed the importance of having more Aboriginal foster and kinship carers step up and provide care for Aboriginal kids, “My late mother was a kinship carer, she provided a safe and nurturing home to my cousin. She was a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wiradjuri nation and knew the importance of providing a safe, nurturing home and keeping us both connect to country and culture.”

“However, right now we really need more carers like mum to offer a safe place for Aboriginal kids. There simply aren’t enough Aboriginal carers and we need to work together to provide a future for our children. The support a carer can give can set a child up for a lifetime.”

Carter agrees, emphasising that, “With almost 40% of children in out-of-home care being Aboriginal, locating more Aboriginal families to support the community, is a matter of urgency.”

“Anyone wanting to understand more about becoming a foster or kinship carer should contact My Forever Family NSW. The team are able to answer any questions and provide you with information about how to become a carer.” said Carter.

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Jonathan Sweet
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