As the number of children coming into care continues to grow, so too does the need for families to open their doors, and hearts, to these vulnerable children. Due to the lack of foster families, many children caught up in the child protection system have to live in residential care facilities, with other children they don’t know and a constant rotation of carers.
A free community forum hosted by ac.care next week is hoping to change South Australia’s over‑reliance on residential care and is calling for more people to become foster carers in the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The forum will focus on child protection issues within these local areas and talk about how the wider community can support children who are unable to live with their birth families.
A highlight will be the premiere of a short film about two dedicated foster carers from the Adelaide Hills and their emotional caring journey. They will also be there on the night – to answer questions from the audience following the screening of the film.
Guardian Penny Wright is also looking forward to presenting at the forum.
“I strongly believe ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and I’ve seen the transformative power of children going to live in foster families that nurture them, respond to who they are as a unique person and are consistently there for them – the difference, even after a short time, can be astounding,” Penny said.
“Unfortunately there are not enough family based placements to go around and over 500 children and young people currently live in residential care placements, with rotational carers, plus there are more children coming into the system every year, so we desperately need to grow the number of families who can help out.”
“We all have the power to make a difference and offering a home is a very special kind of difference.”
The forum will be held at the ac.care Murraylands Centre at 29 Bridge Street in Murray Bridge at 6pm on Tuesday 16 March.
Anyone interested in this topic is welcome to come along. The event will be livestreamed on ac.care’s Facebook page for those unable to attend in person.