On Wednesday 19 June we celebrated the positive outcomes being achieved for children and young people by thanking the people who are making an incredible difference in their lives – our foster and kinship carers.
Foster and kinship carers from Melbourne’s south joined with OzChild staff, board members and supporters to celebrate and get together for one of the most anticipated events of the year.
OzChild carers are extremely important to the organisation, their dedication to the role of carers sees them working 24/7 to ensure better outcomes for children in Out-of-Home Care. In fact, in their volunteer role, collectively OzChild foster carers contributed to almost one million volunteer hours given in 2018.
When you consider the time carers are investing in their roles as carers, it’s not surprising positive outcomes are being achieved for children and young people.
The annual carer dinner provides us with an opportunity to thank our foster and kinship carers and acknowledge the wonderful difference they are making. OzChild President, Helen Maxwell-Wright looks forward to catching up with OzChild carers at the dinner each year.
“It truly is a highlight on my calendar,” said Helen. “I am encouraged and inspired by the stories I hear and know that our carers are really making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people.”
During the night long-time OzChild carers were also recognised with five-year kinship carers, 10 and 15 year foster carers acknowledged for their ongoing commitment and dedication.
Guests were treated to a presentation on Strengths Based Parenting by Dr Lea Waters, giving carers and parents alike a terrific insight into ways they can build resilience in children, helping them to thrive.
Also in attendance was The Hon. Luke Donnellan, Minister for Child Protection and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers. Minister Donnellan addressed guests and thanked the carers for their commitment to improving the lives of children and young people.
“More than anything else, I’d like to thank the 240 carers in the room,” Minister Donnellan said. “Individually you make a marvellous contribution to our community. You’re beautiful, loving and caring individuals who do so much work for us as a community”.
Minister Donnellan went on to say, “You’re part of an organisation that is forward-thinking, and paving the way for new ways to work with families, carers children and young people”.
Nights like this not only provide an opportunity to thank and acknowledge our carers but to catchup with old friends and make new ones. We look forward to next year’s event.