For every 1000 children and young people living on the Central Coast, 13 are living in out-of-home care compared with nine out of every thousand across the state.
The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that a staggering 13 children and young people per 1000 are living in out-of-home care in the Central Coast region but there remains a critical shortage of carers in the Central Coast area.
To find and inform potential new carers in the Central Coast region, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer for Kids Information Session for locals on Tuesday 21st March from 5:30pm-7pm at Central Coast ARAFMI- 21 Bellbowrie Avenue, Narara.
The session aims to raise awareness about the critical need for more people to care for children currently living in the state care system, and anyone who is interested in finding out what’s involved in opening their home to a child is welcome to come along.
My Forever Family NSW supports, trains and advocates for foster and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents who bring stability to the lives of children and young people in care.
Children and young people living in out-of-home care are doing so because they can’t live safely with their family and need a safe and nurturing place to call home.
The session will raise urgent need for carers for sibling groups in the Central Coast region, to ensure that siblings in care can stay together.
The information session will inform potential carers of the different options of care available and will be an opportunity to ask questions of local agencies, be introduced to the services of My Forever Family NSW and hear the first-hand experiences of current carers.
Experienced carer Brydie has formed strong bonds with children she’s cared for and is passionate about keeping siblings together.
“We provided care for two-year-old twin girls that needed a home,” Brydie said.
“It’s a daunting experience for a child when you’re in this situation where you don’t have a lot of control over your life and meeting strangers. That’s why that sibling relationship is so important, especially for children in out-of-home care,” she said.
“The sibling bond is a constant in their life and provides familiarity and comfort. It’s been so rewarding to help nurture that relationship and watch them laugh and share joy together.”
There are many different types of care options available to suit individual and family circumstances, all of which will be covered at the information session.
My Forever Family NSW Spokesperson, Michelle Stacpoole said the need for carers is urgent.
“Being a carer for kids is not a one size fits all,” Stacpoole said.
“There are many ways you can help children thrive.
“These sessions are an opportunity to ask questions about becoming a carer in an open and relaxed setting, and to chat directly with those who have lived experience as carers.
“It’s a chance for people to considering becoming carers now to understand the next steps and we also welcome people who are considering this option for the future to come along and find out more.”
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