Foster Care Week is celebrated in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia from 11-17 September. We are both humbled and amazed by the enormous contribution of our village of carers who open their homes, their hearts and their lives giving back to the community so selflessly.
There is a myth around foster care. Well many myths actually.
Probably the biggest of them all is that fostering a child might not be forever, that after a short while you would have to say goodbye to the child you have welcomed into your home and who has become part of your family.
While this is the case for those providing respite care or short-term care, there is a demand for long-term or permanent foster care arrangements. In these cases, the child would remain in your care until the age of 18 – or longer should you decide to extend the care arrangement.
Traditionally, the aim of foster care is to provide a temporary home for a child or young person until reunification with the birth parent/s is possible. In many cases the hope is that the child or young person will return to their family when it is considered safe and the best option.
Let’s face it, in almost all cases it is better to keep families together.
Sadly, there are exceptions. Sometimes it is not always possible for a child or young person to be returned to their families. So, then what happens to them?
The number of children and young people in care who are moved from home to home, shifting schools and disrupting routines is concerning. But, in the worst cases some end up living in a residential care facility with other young people and many different workers caring for them.
Imagine as a child a life in residential care. It’s scary, lonely, and at times, dangerous. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse study exploring the experiences of children and young people in residential care reported in late 2017 that most young people in residential care felt they were at risk of physical violence, sexual threats from their peers and from outsiders, and of ongoing bullying and harassment.
This is no life for a child or young person. Surely, we can do more, to give our most vulnerable children the chance to live the kind of childhood everyone deserves. We must do everything we can to give them the chance to build a brighter future.
That brighter future can start with you!
Deciding to become a full-time long-term foster carer is a life-changing decision.
OzChild is looking for people who are ready to change a life. People who can commit to the permanent care of a child until the age of 18 – or longer.
Do you have room in your home, and your heart to take the leap for a child or young person like William?
Carer needed for a long-term placement
13-year-old William is looking for his forever home, a stable family environment which he is considered a part of.
A quiet yet funny young man, William is just like other boys his age. He enjoys playing X-box, drawing, and interacting with boys his own age.
Sadly, William has been in care since he was a kid and has had lived in many different homes. For the last year, William has been part of a short-term behaviour modification program with the OzChild Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) team. TFCO involves intensive work to increase positive behaviour and skills while decreasing challenging behaviour. Before he began TFCO, William would often refuse to attend school and stay up late watching TV. He now attends school every day, engages in new activities, and has a regular daily routine.
William has made excellent progress with the support of his TFCO carers and the team and is now ready to transition to a long-term, permanent care placement. William would benefit from being part of a family, where he can be included and encouraged to continue building his skills and attend school daily.
As a permanent carer you would receive support from a professional and dedicated team who are focused on seeing William succeed and have the chance to live the childhood he deserves.
Your ‘support crew’ will be on hand to support both carer and family, alongside William to maintain the progress made in the TFCO program and ensure a smooth transition into stable family life.
Could you help? Maybe you are not the carer we are looking for, but perhaps someone you know might be?
Please share this with your networks. And, if you are interested or know someone please contact the OzChild TFCO team today:
Child maltreatment is a pervasive issue that casts a long, dark shadow over the lives of countless young Australians. It’s a problem that transcends social, economic, and cultural boundaries, leaving a lasting impact on victims and society as a whole.
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