At the start of a New Year, many of us make a new year’s resolution… to get fitter, lose weight, take the next step in our career, or go on a dream overseas holiday.
For 2024, how about making a resolution to transform a child’s life, to provide stability and a supportive home for a child or young person in need – for a weekend, a few weeks or longer?
Emily Roalfe from outside Lismore, NSW, has been a foster carer for eight years. Initially, Emily became accredited to provide respite care, supporting other foster carers by looking after a child for one night or a weekend, so their regular carers could have a break.
Emily says it was a good way to find out if foster care will work for you, and very soon she decided that she could provide more long-term care.
“Seeing a vulnerable little face looking back at me struck a chord. Children in foster care are individual people who have their own story and might have been through a lot, but they are just looking for love and security.
“I feel so lucky to be in a position to make a real difference to a child’s life and it is a pleasure to see how the children in my care are thriving. I want to see more people help out and stop waiting on the right time – there is never a right time. If you have love in your heart and space in your home, there is a kid out there who could use your help right now,” says Emily.
Jasmine Perry, National Leader of Foster Care Development at MacKillop Family Services says finding carers for kids in care has never been more difficult.
“We’ve asked the community for help many times before, but the need for foster carers continues across the country. In 2024, we need people who have been thinking about foster care to start discussions with an agency like MacKillop.
“When foster carers aren’t available, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep kids in their own communities, where they can maintain connections to family, school friends and the sporting clubs they belong to.”
Jasmine adds, “there are many different types of foster care, and we have round the clock supports in place for carers. I want people to understand how much of a difference support and security can make to a child’s life and that there is a team of us here to help you provide that care.”
MacKillop provides foster carers with training, regular respite, access to therapeutic specialists and financial support. If you are interested or to find out more, please call 1300 791 677 or click the link below.