Foster Carers Needed
Our Children, our culture
We know place shapes health, wellbeing and the way you see yourself in the world. It might be the town you grew up in, your friends down the road, or the culture that defines you. Wherever or whoever it is, Place is strongly tied to identity – that’s why it plays a major role in how we live, learn and grow up.
Our ‘grassroots’ approach means we know the West inside out (it’s our place). Everyday we use this knowledge to find new ways to help support local individuals, families and communities to reduce social isolation, increase employment opportunities, and make services more accessible.
But we’re not the solution, we’re only part of it. And when it comes to providing foster care for our community’s children, we’ve learnt the importance of what we call ‘place based’ care. Basically, it’s a type of care that treats complex individual problems as being tied to the people and places they surround themselves with. By understanding the most important things in a person’s life, we can celebrate their identity and start rebuilding the foundations for a happy, stable future.
We need your help. It’s vital to look beyond the ‘quick fix’ to make sure we’re providing the best possible family environment – one where they can grow into well-rounded, happy, healthy adults. If our efforts can help children become more engaged and connected to their community, we’re on the right path toward building resilience and making a positive difference in their lives.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families Needed
Right now, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are overly represented in the foster care system (56.6 per 1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children verses 5.8 per 1000 non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children). Yet since Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up just 3% of Australia’s population, there just aren’t enough Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander foster families to meet demand right now. That’s a real problem, because it goes against what we know about the importance of cultural connection in foster care. Often an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child will feel more accepted by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family because the connection to culture provides a sense of history, stability, understanding and togetherness.
That’s why our first priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is to find a foster family with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. If we can’t find one, we’ll attempt to bridge the cultural gap by providing cultural responsiveness training to our foster carers, as well as making our Aboriginal Practice Leader available for direct assistance.
If you’re reading this and being a Foster Carer in your community sound like you, please reach out and discuss ways to begin your journey.