The support, stability and love of a foster family can give children a chance to enjoy their childhood.
This was the message at the official opening of Wesley Mission’s new out of home care offices in Maitland yesterday which marked the first step in transferring foster carers from Human Services to Wesley Mission through a partnership with the state government.
Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward spoke of her delight in being able to deliver the reform worth $4.8 million and said the reforms would continue until the framework that supported children and their foster families had the right balance.
“Some of these children have no baby photos or pictures of when they were three or four,” she said. “Some children spend their childhood in six or seven foster homes – that means new bedrooms, new families, new friends.
“Many of these children come from abusive homes and they deserve the support they need to be able to deal with what they have been through.”
Maitland MP Robyn Parker praised the announcement and said foster carers provided a vital role in helping children, and they too needed support.
“It is fantastic to have this here in Maitland and the service stretching throughout the Hunter region,” she said.
“Wesley offers a wrapped service with a range of support to care for the children.
“The case workers assigned to each child provide a lot of support and are a vital part of the foster parents and foster child’s life.”
Wesley Mission CEO Reverend Dr Keith Garner said the new partnership would significantly assist children in Maitland and the Hunter region.
The Out of Home Care service will eventually oversee 228 children and their 150 carers. There are currently 100 children in placement.
The building, in High Street, houses five staff which will eventually be expanded to 16.