Supporting vulnerable children & young people through foster careMarch 22, 2020
There is little dispute that most us live a privileged life. God blesses us daily and abundantly and we live in a spectacular part of the world. Yet there are children within the boundaries of the Diocese of Broken Bay who are suffering. Many have been through experiences few of us could begin to fathom and who, without our help, will go through childhood without the love and support of a family.
Consider this. Anna who is 12 years old wakes in the night to hear her mother crying. She is tense and alert as this is familiar to her. There is shouting and the noise of violence. She comforts her younger brother who is trembling at the foot of his bed, tucking him back under his blankets before swallowing her fear and leaving the “security” of her bedroom in search of her mother only to find on the kitchen floor, a victim of domestic violence. While she is doing her best to help her mother, Police and Child Protection Workers enter the house and Anna is taken to an emergency carer’s house with her brother. Unbeknownst to her, this will be the last she sees of her mother for two years.
This is how so many children come into the Statutory Out of Home Care system. The children enter care after suffering, often for many years, from abuse and neglect and the impact from this trauma can be lifelong. These children and young people are more likely to end up in the youth justice system and have far poorer education and health outcomes. They will likely enter a cycle of social disadvantage that is difficult to escape, with potential impacts on their own children.
We have a responsibility to turn this around. What can we do?
Fostering is a practical way we can support children and young people who need a temporary or full-time home while their family is supported to make the necessary changes for their safe return home. At any given time, there are dozens of children across the Diocese who require foster care. At times these children are housed in emergency motel accommodation with support workers due to the shortage of foster carers. CatholicCare provides essential supports, care and stability for these children and young people, to enable them to recover and thrive.
We are looking for everyday families who might consider taking a child or young person into their home – to love and support them – whether for one or two nights, a few weeks, months or long-term. Is this easy? No, it is not. Caring for those in need requires you to give of yourself, to apply the teachings of Christ in the realest of terms. This is the work of the Church and CatholicCare walks alongside you each step of the way.
CatholicCare foster carers receive:
- A financial allowance to assist with the day-to-day needs of the child/young person. This helps to cover day-to-day expenses for the child such as food, clothing, education, travel and leisure activities.
- Participation in the process to match children with families.
- Comprehensive on-going training and counselling.
- A dedicated case manager and 24/7 support.
- Social functions and events, and more.
Our team would be happy to meet with you, or to come to your parish to talk more about the needs of children in care.