Fairfield City Champion

Open your heart to a childAdvertising Feature

MAKE A DIFFERENCE: You can be a full-time or part-time carer to children in desperate need. Photo: supplied

Potential foster carers in the south-west are invited to join a free online information session hosted by My Forever Family NSW on Thursday, March 3 from 7pm-8pm.

The "Becoming a Carer For Kids" session will raise awareness about the critical need for more people to become involved in caring for children and young people who can't safely live at home.

The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that 55 per 1000 children and young people are living in out-of-home care in the south-western Sydney region, compared with eight in 1000 across the whole of NSW.

Children like 13-year-old Noah (not his real name), who is in Year 7 and likes the same things many boys his age do - kicking a footy and playing PlayStation. He is also a talented musician.

Noah needs a home with routine, structure and stability to help him flourish in school and a mentor to plan fun outings with, giving Noah activities to look forward to.

At 12 years old Abby (not her real name) loves to dance. Abby is in Year 7 but her schooling has been interrupted in the last year and she would greatly benefit from stability and structure at home. Abby would really thrive in a safe and secure home where she feels nurtured and older or younger siblings would be a bonus.

The information session will inform potential carers of the different types of care available and will be an opportunity to ask questions of local agencies, be introduced to the services of My Forever Family NSW, and hear the first-hand experiences of current carers.

Local carer Sarah (surname withheld), who is currently in the final stages of adopting the children in her care, encourages people to attend the information session.

"This is an important service that you can provide for a child whose world has been turned upside down. Ask lots of questions. Speak to people who have gone ahead of you on that journey."

While there will be a focus on information about caring for specific children in the local community, there are many different types of care options available to suit individual and family circumstances, all of which will be covered.

Options such as emergency or part-time care introduce the idea of becoming part of a child's extended support network for one night (emergency care), a weekend, once a month or on school holidays (part-time care).

For more information on this special online information session please go to https://www.eventsforchange.org.au/infosession. My Forever Family NSW supports, trains and advocates for foster and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents.

For details go to: www.myforeverfamily.org.au.