CatholicCare’s supporting our most vulnerable children

“Foster carers are very special people who provide love, support and stability to some of our country’s most vulnerable children,” Gary Christensen, Acting Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning, said on the eve of NSW Foster Care Week.

NSW Foster Care Week, 10-16 September, is co-ordinated by the Association of Children's Welfare Agencies with the support of non-government foster care agencies. It acknowledges the wonderful contribution made by foster carers across NSW.

CatholicCare is hosting its Annual Foster Carer Luncheon to thank carers for their ongoing efforts.

In Australia over 40,000 children suffer abuse and neglect each year. When a child or young person cannot live with his/her own parents or extended family, a safe place to stay is required.

The number of children in out-of-home care (OOHC) − that is, in foster, relative and other forms of non-parental care − has almost doubled over the past decade to around 41,000.

There are nearly 20,000 children and young people in OOHC in NSW alone, with 49% of those children and young people living in the Hunter and Central Coast areas. 

These alarming statistics reinforce the necessity of the care provided by foster carers, supported by agencies such as CatholicCare, to create an environment where these children can thrive.

“Immediate, respite, restoration and permanent foster carers are urgently required for children of all ages,” Gary said.  

“Our carers do a remarkable job, but we need more of them to ensure that no child faces duress in their current circumstances or future.

“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,” Gary said.

Where restoration of children to birth parents is not possible, CatholicCare assists carers to adopt or become legal guardians.

If you would like to find out more about the wonderful work of our foster carers, or are interested in becoming a foster carer, please call 4979 1120 or email.

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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