Foster Care Week

This week Samaritans is celebrating Foster Care Week, running from September 13 to 19.

Samaritans is raising awareness of the vital contribution Foster Carers make to the community through their work.

Samaritans would like to acknowledge and thank these carers for the crucial role play in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our community.

There is an ongoing need for local carers to fill a range of care options from emergency, respite and short and long term care.

More people joining the Samaritans Foster Care team will strengthen the support Samaritans can offer families throughout the community.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer or to learn more about Samaritans Foster Care support click here.

You can also read about Sandy’s experiences as a Foster Carer with Samaritans:

Sandy Skinner- foster carer

Sandy has been a foster carer with Samaritans for over seven years, during which she has cared for 43 children as a short-term carer.  Sandy and her husband Graham are committed to caring for foster children as if they were their own, and as she mentions they really do feel like your own children.  She has cared for mostly babies or children up to the age of five, for just one night or up to nine months in duration. Long-term options are also available to suit what works best for the lifestyle and circumstances of the carer.   Knowing that her role is short-term Sandy explains it is sad when the children eventually move on, but she is well-prepared for it and comforted knowing that she has made a positive impact on their lives.

To those considering becoming a foster carer Sandy definitely recommends it as there is a “situation to suit everyone’s lifestyle”.   Foster carers come from all walks of life,  whether you are a single, married, studying or retired what they believe is every child and young person deserves a loving and supportive home and want to contribute to our community achieving this.

In Sandy and Graham’s case they have six children and twelve grandchildren between them and have always been quite interested in foster care.   Once their own children moved out of home they felt ready to commit to becoming foster carers and making a positive difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable.

“Although it can be physically and mentally challenging” Sandy explains how the rewards and satisfaction of knowing the child is happy, healthy and safe in your care outweigh the challenges.  Samaritans also provides extensive, ongoing training to ensure foster carers are prepared for potential challenges.

Samaritans provides 24 hour support, which carers like Sandy find particularly valuable “If I need someone I pick up the phone and there’s always someone there.”  Financial support is also provided to ensure all the needs of the child are met without carers going out of pocket.

The Foster Carer community is also a great support network, with regular social events hosted such as Barbeques.  Through keeping in touch with other carers Sandy has maintained ties with some of the children she has looked after over the years, who have since moved onto long-term foster care.

For anyone considering becoming a foster carer we have regional managers and foster care workers that concentrate on support, advocacy, stability and an individualised approach.  We would love to work with you and your family to provide a loving and supportive home for a child in need of care.