New to central and northern Victoria, foster care agency, MacKillop Family Services is working to bring support to some of the most vulnerable families in the Bendigo, Castlemaine, Echuca and Daylesford areas.
The agency has opened its new office in Hargreaves St, Bendigo and is currently looking for foster carers to provide homes for children who need safe and nurturing environments.
Carer Recruitment Manager, Jasmine Perry, says there is a chronic shortage of foster carers all over Australia, including this region of Victoria, “Each year, the number of children and young people needing foster care grows. And it grows more quickly than we can find people to care for them. We are currently looking for 20 foster carers in the local area and we want people to understand that all different types of people can be foster carers; as long as they can provide a safe, nurturing, home environment and have enough space, they can make a huge difference to a vulnerable child’s life.
“Foster carers may have children of their own or not; work full-time, study, or be retired. They may be single or have a partner; and can come from any culture or religion and can own or rent their home. The most important thing is that they want to support children to heal from past trauma and develop to their potential,” added Jasmine.
Local businessman, Laurie Whelan, understands the need for foster carers to provide safe and supportive homes for children. Through his former work as a local Councillor and former Mayor of Greater Bendigo, café owner Laurie, is aware that there are many vulnerable children in the area who need secure homes,
“Many people in the town don’t realise that there is a local need for foster carers. They think carers are mainly needed in cities, but kids here in this region also need to be cared for. It is often traumatic for a child to have to leave its family, but if there are no foster carers in the area, that child can be further traumatised by having to go to a completely new town, new school and lose connection with their community.
“I’m delighted to support MacKillop’s move into this region, because I know we need to recruit more foster carers to care for our kids in their own locality.”
To help raise awareness of foster care, Laurie and MacKillop are hosting a foster care information session at The Good loaf, 404 Hargreaves Street Bendigo on Monday 18 March, and from 18 – 25 March, both Good Loaf coffee outlets at Hargreaves Street and in the Monash on Mercy Street, Bendigo, will be using MacKillop branded takeaway coffee cups to promote foster care and highlight the need for foster carers in the area.
For further information on foster care, visit MacKillop’s website at www.mackillop.org.au or call 1300 791 677
About MacKillop Family Services
MacKillop has a history of more than 22 years supporting children and families. MacKillop’s focus is to empower vulnerable children, young people and families so they can heal from past trauma and develop to their potential. MacKillop works with families and children in Victoria, New South Wales and West Australia.