Foster families urged to reach out
There’s a big group of foster families in the South Waikato and Sharron Livingstone is encouraging them to reach out for support.
The Tokoroa and Taupo Foster Association member knows exactly what that community goes through and hopes more will reach out for support.
The 51-year-old teacher hopes to raise awareness of the support available.
As a foster carer herself, she knows exactly what it is like.
‘‘Kids come with their own sort of baggage,’’ she said.
And what Livingstone is trying to achieve is providing the children with normality.
Especially for children under Child, Youth and Family care, who can barely grasp onto a normal childhood when some can not even go to sleepovers.
‘‘They aren’t allowed to do normal things,’’ said.
She said the association aims to include families and the children to show they are not alone.
‘‘This is for the kids because they have been through hell and back and a lot of them need support,’’ she said.
Strict policies have stopped Livingstone revealing the number of foster children in the South Waikato.
But she said there are a lot of people in the foster community, and plenty who she believes would benefit from the support.
‘‘We have this large group we want to reach out to,’’ she said.
Coffee mornings for parents and pool events for children are a start, she hopes the regional association will expand from the 110 members.
And although the support is kept within the association, she said a lot of people are unaware of how big the community is.
The organisation was one of four that was denied funding from the South Waikato District Council’s Community Development Grants fund.
The March allocation had $40,000 to give away with 19 applications.