Awards | Posted September 1, 2023

This year’s winners of the Jillian Ward award are Vince and Kym, in recognition of their combined experience of fostering over 22 and 14 years respectively – including five years as accredited Circle Carers.

Both Vince and Kym excel in their role as therapeutic carers; ensuring children and young people have a safe and stable home environment to grow up. They are strong advocates for those they care for and in programs that provide resources and support to children and young people healing from trauma.

Nominated by their case worker Jo, who has witnessed the tireless dedication both Kym and Vince have had over years, to being a part of the OzChild community, and the foster care space. They support OzChild in a variety of ways, including as members of the West Carer Consultation Group, OzChild’s interview panels and mentoring new carers as part of the buddy program.

“Caring for young people has made me realise this is an opportunity to give a little back of what I had in my childhood with my parents” (Vince, 2021). 

Vince and Kym champion the positive influence having strong connections with biological families has on the young people in their care (when it’s possible). It is clear to everyone in that Vince and Kym go above and beyond when it comes to creating a fulfilling life for children and young people in their home.

This award recognises the outstanding dedication and commitment of a foster carer within our In-Home Care program in western Melbourne in the spirit of a great advocate for children and families – Jillian Wain.

Jillian has been involved in foster care since 1975, when she and her husband Greg become foster carers. In 1995 Jill began managing the Melton/Bacchus Marsh Foster Care program for The Salvation Army.

During her time as manager of the foster care program, Jill was a strong advocate for keeping sibling groups together and respecting and supporting birth parents. Jill also strongly advocated for children to remain connected to their culture and family.

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