Foster Care Week is always the highlight of MacKillop’s foster care program and despite COVID-19 restrictions imposing a rapid shift from the planned events in New South Wales and Victoria, Foster Care Week 2021 turned into a wonderful celebration of the amazing carers who provide support for vulnerable families and children.
MacKillop foster care recruitment teams quickly changed their focus from a series of ‘in-person’ events to arranging special deliveries, hampers or vouchers to foster carers. Some received doughnuts, others had boxes of sweet treats and all carers received thank you cards with MacKillop branded magnetic picture clips.
The highlight of Foster Care Week was an online celebration event which was hosted by comedian Claire Hooper, co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off and author of popular children’s book, ‘Princess Benjamina has a very cheeky bum’. Legendary Australian musician, Tim Rogers, best known as the frontman of Australian rock band You Am I, entertained foster carers with classics, new tunes and popular songs from his band.
The Foster Care Regional Finalists in MacKillop’s annual Excellence Awards were also announced during the online celebration event. More than 130 foster carers from Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales were able to virtually meet online and congratulate regional nominees and winners on the selfless work they do to support children who need them.
Many carers had the children they look after join them for the online event, and the kids ended up stealing the show by chatting to our CEO Dr Robyn Miller and singing and dancing along to the music.
MacKillop’s new foster care TV advertisement also made its debut during Foster Care Week, featuring the stories of three carer households in regional Victoria. We also had a radio advertising campaign in regional NSW and VIC and stories from MacKillop foster carers ran in local papers and in radio interviews, putting the focus on the need for more people to put their hands up to be foster carers and support children who are unable to live safely at home.
Some comments received from staff and carers who joined the online Foster Care week event:
“What a great online event and I just loved hearing the stories about the nominees for the awards.”
“Just wanted to say I really enjoyed the Foster Care Awards night. The interaction with the kids was the best part😊. Loved Claire Hooper also.”
“This has been such a wonderful evening acknowledging the foster carers and seeing our beautiful children across Australia. My heart is full!”