Ur­gent call for fos­ter car­ers for lo­cal kids

Myrtleford Times - - Letters To The Editor -

CAR­ERS are des­per­ately needed to pro­vide a safe place to stay for chil­dren in our re­gion.

On the eve of Fos­ter Care week, Up­per Mur­ray Fam­ily Care (UMFC) re­ports de­spite mak­ing ev­ery ef­fort to en­cour­age peo­ple to open their hearts and their homes to chil­dren in need, new car­ers are still needed to put up their hands.

UMFC team leader of carer man­age­ment, Jea­nine Aughey, said car­ers were ur­gently needed across North East Vic­to­ria and the Bor­der re­gion and the or­gan­i­sa­tion wanted to make the broader com­mu­nity aware of the sit­u­a­tion.

“We pro­vide fos­ter care for 60 chil­dren each night in our re­gion,” she said.

“Last month, eight ado­les­cents and 11 chil­dren were un­able to be placed as there were no car­ers avail­able.

“Util­is­ing the mo­men­tum of Fos­ter Care Week 2018 (Septem­ber 9-15) we are hop­ing to re­cruit a sub­stan­tial num­ber of new car­ers.”

Ms Aughey said chil­dren are re­moved from their fam­i­lies be­cause they are not safe, and the de­mand for car­ers is so high due to the in­creas­ing pres­sure on vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies.

“Of­ten there are is­sues within the fam­ily – do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, drug and al­co­hol abuse or par­ents with men­tal health is­sues, dis­abil­i­ties, fi­nan­cial pres­sures or lack­ing in par­ent­ing skills,” she said.

“Chil­dren and young peo­ple in care have dif­fer­ent back­grounds so we re­quire a di­verse range of fos­ter car­ers to look af­ter them.

“Many car­ers have chil­dren of their own - some are grown and have left home, some have young chil­dren still at home and some sin­gles and fam­i­lies have never had chil­dren.

“Fos­ter care is some­thing that in­volves the whole fam­ily but it is im­por­tant that car­ers know that they will be sup­ported by UMFC what­ever their cir­cum­stances.”

Ms Aughey said car­ers can choose the type of place­ment that suits them as well as when and how of­ten they oc­cur, whether long term, short term or emer­gency place­ments.

She said there is also a need for respite car­ers to pro­vide week­end care for chil­dren in long term place­ments to give the chil­dren and car­ers a break.

All ques­tions can be an­swered in per­son dur­ing an in­for­mal ‘meet and greet’ in­for­ma­tion ses­sion which will be held at 37 Mackay Street in Wan­garatta this Wed­nes­day at 5pm.

A sec­ond ses­sion will be held this Thurs­day at 5pm at 27-29 Stan­ley Street in Wodonga.

Ms Aughey said it was a chance for prospec­tive car­ers to find out ex­actly what fos­ter car­ing is like from real car­ers.

RSVP would be ap­pre­ci­ated by call­ing Jea­nine or Jas­mine (02) 6055 8000, with en­quiries also wel­come over the phone.

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