IN NSW alone, there are almost 20,000 children and young people in Permanency Support Programs (foster care) - with 49 per cent of these children and young people living in the Hunter and Central Coast.
This shortage is what has led CatholicCare to host a Foster Care and Open Adoption Information Session at Muswellbrook on Wednesday, March 28.
The gathering is for people who are:
* Considering becoming a foster carer;
* Thinking about adopting a child or;
* Curious to learn more about Permanency Support Programs.
“There is an overwhelming shortage of foster carers and the situation is now at crisis point,” Director of CatholicCare Social Services Gary Christensen said.
“These alarming statistics reinforce the necessity of the care provided by foster carers, supported by agencies such as CatholicCare, to create a permanent and safe home where these children can feel secure and thrive.
“Immediate, respite, restoration and permanent foster carers are urgently required for children of all ages.
“We’re seeking carers of all ages who can provide care for a few days at a time, to those who can provide a home for life.
“You don’t have to be Catholic to be a carer with CatholicCare, and we welcome singles, couples and even families to be carers.
“Being a foster carer is challenging and rewarding, but our carers don’t do it alone.
“CatholicCare partners with them, providing ongoing support and development opportunities as well as an allowance to assist them in meeting the needs of children in their care.”
The Department of Family and Community Services’ Permanency Support Program introduced a series of changes from October 1, 2017, that shift the current placement-based service system to one that is centred on safety, permanency and wellbeing for children, young people and their families and kin.
Where restoration of children to birth parents or kin is not possible, the NSW Government has committed to making it easier for carers to adopt or become legal guardians.
A means-tested adoption allowance will also help those who require financial assistance to meet the child’s needs.
CatholicCare’s Foster Care and Open Adoption Information Session include presentations from the recruitment team as well as experienced carers who cover topics such as;
* An overview of CatholicCare’s Permanency Support Program;
* Types of care including respite and emergency care, open adoption and guardianship;
* What choice carers have in whom they care for;
* The day-to-day responsibilities of carers;
* Training and support available to carers;
* Selection criteria for carers; and
* An overview of the application process.
To learn more, or register your attendance, phone (02) 4944 0700 or visit www.catholiccare.org.au