A host of events are being held across Queensland during Foster and Kinship Carer Week, which runs this year from 3 to 9 March, to recognise the many foster and kinship carers who open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children and young people.
This year, the Queensland Government is providing more than $40,000 to 20 community organisations to host events that recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contribution carers make to the community.
Sally Ann Eakin, senior practitioner with Integrated Family and Youth Service in Cairns, says up to 80 people are expected to attend a celebratory morning tea and presentation being held on March 7 for local foster and kinship carers.
“The event provides the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the tireless effort put in by foster and kinship carers in supporting children of this community,” Sally Ann says.
“It is a chance to say ‘thank you’ and to let everyone else know that the community needs many more people like them.”
Sally Ann says foster and kinship carers have the chance to influence a child’s life in a positive way.
“Children who come into the child protection system have often not been exposed to being valued,” she says.
“In my experience there is always an increasing need for foster and kinship carers.
“We are not looking for perfect people: we are looking for people who can relate to children and young people, and are able to give time, attention and emotional support.”