Urgent call for foster carers for local kids
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.