Entering into foster care for the first time is a daunting experience for any child. Often the child will leave home with little or no possessions, and no idea what the future holds.
By gifting just a few small items we can give the child a sense of self-worth and independence during a time of great stress.
Each of our packages is hand assembled here in Sydney, and created with the child’s age and gender in mind; each backpack includes essential toiletries, school supplies, toys, books and a comfort item.
Often, respite services for carers can be the difference between a placement breakdown and a positive foster placement that lasts for years to come.
Foster carers open not just their homes, but their hearts, to children in need. Carers need to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the children in their care. And it can be a tough job – children in care often have emotional, social or health issues, making them particularly care-intensive and sometimes more challenging.
We support carers by organising an all inclusive weekend conference with their partners and other carers. The conference offers them seminar and workshop opportunities, one on one counselling, creation of a peer support network and some rest time in a child free environment.
Foster carers and their biological children open their hearts and homes to children in need.
However, given the trauma experienced by foster children they often have additional needs and behavioural issues that require specialised support.
Our education and training empowers foster carers and their biological children to provide a stable family environment for the traumatised children and young people in their care.
In 2017 we discovered that children as young as 7 were going to spending Christmas day in a motel room with a rostered on worker. No Christmas tree, no gifts and no family.
As parents we could not imagine a more awful way to spend Christmas day.
Since then we have fund-raised and held donation drives that have resulted in us being able to provide hundreds of age and gender appropriate Christmas gifts to children and young people living in crisis accommodation.
The trauma experienced by young people in foster care is to most of us unimaginable and they bear the traumatic results throughout their entire life. Without support they become angry, depressed and dysfunctional adults turning to drugs and alcohol that lead them down the inevitable pathway to the criminal justice system and its vicious cycle.
When foster children reach 18, they are deemed to be adults. Research has identified this cohort of young people as being the most vulnerable in the community. Transition to adulthood is faced without adequate life skills or family support that ensures a pathway into isolation, depression and significant representation in the criminal justice system.
The FCA project provides and education program before leaving OoHC potentially mitigating the problems before they happen. It provides education and development of skills that enable a mentally healthy transition into adult life through understanding how to manage anxieties that can lead to depression, feelings of isolation and other mental health issues and provide support for those that find themselves in difficulty.
Our holiday cabin located on the Central Coast of New South Wales is available to fostering families at a subsidised rate.
Although carers receive an allowance for the children in their care it is not sufficient to afford carers the luxury of a family holiday. The holiday cabin, which sleeps up to 7, is an affordable option that allows fostering families to create memories together strengthening familial bonds.
The use of Therapy Dogs is designed to help young people improve their physical, social, emotional or cognitive function. These specially trained and certified dogs help people with a variety of mental health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, depression and complex trauma. Therapy Dogs are a proven and integral part of the mental health treatment process. In an environment where touch is not appropriate, a dog offers a chance for touch that is calming and helpful. Patting a dog has been shown to decrease stress hormones, lower blood pressure, regulate breathing and release oxycontin.
The Bed in a Bag program aims to provide personal bedding for kids placed in group homes. Unfortunately not all children in the Foster Care system will be placed with a Foster family. In some cases children from 12 are placed with other children in a group home and cared for by staff.
The Bed In A Bag program provides these children the gift of comfort. Each Bed In A Bag set includes a fitted sheet, pillow, pillow case, quilt, quilt cover and towel.