FOSTER Care and Kinship Care Week focuses on the most vulnerable people in the community: children in need of a home.
The care awareness weeks run from Monday, September 6 to Sunday, September 19, with the 2021 theme of is 'Adaptability: Caring through COVID and the changed care environment'.
To support those in need and raise awareness, Uniting Vic.Tas is encouraging people in the Wimmera to consider welcoming children who need a home and a family into their lives.
Philip Yew, Uniting Vic.Tas Senior Manager of Child, Youth, Families and Residential in the Wimmera said in these uncertain times, vulnerable children and young people need a safe and secure home more than ever.
"Children and young people living out of home are among the most vulnerable people in our community," Mr Yew said.
"During Foster Care and Kinship Week, we celebrate all carers and the dedication and commitment they continue to show to children in need."
Mr Yew said a pandemic doesn't stop the need for care.
'There have still been many children and young people who have needed care, whether for a short or a long time," he said.
"Short term care or respite care can be from an overnight stay or months at a time, long term can be up until the child is aged 18."
There are four types of care offered by Uniting: emergency/overnight care, which provides accommodation and care for a child or young person in an emergency, weekend respite; looking after children and young people living with a foster care family for occasional or regularly scheduled weekends; short-term care, which ranges from a few days to a few months, depending on the child or young person's needs; and long-term care, when the child or young person is not expected to return to their family.
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Mr Yew also noted that a foster carer doesn't have to fit a particular type of person.
"Carers come from diverse backgrounds and family types. They might be single or in a relationship, have children of their own, be working, studying or retired, and come from any culture, religion or sexual orientation," he said.
Support is available for carers throughout the journey.
"Foster care can sometimes be challenging, but with the right support our carers tell us the rewards far outweigh the tough times," Mr Yew said.
To learn more about becoming a foster carer at Uniting, visit unitingvictas.org.au/foster-care.
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