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A COMMUNITY forum in Murray Bridge will highlight the need for more people to open their hearts and homes to children and young people as foster carers.
ac.care will host the Supporting Vulnerable Children in Our Community forum on March 16.
“There are sadly not enough foster carers in the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula to provide safe homes and positive relationships for the growing number of young people who are unable to live with their biological parents due to no fault of their own,” ac.care foster care manager Dani Atkinson said.
“This is a significant social issue for our community and we hope this forum allows people to learn more about the local situation and the inspiring difference foster carers can make in young lives.”
A key element of the event will be the premiere of a short film specially produced for the event featuring two foster carers – a dedicated mother and daughter duo from the Adelaide Hills – sharing their emotional caring journey.
The two inspiring women will also answer questions from the audience following the screening of the video.
“Although there are many challenges in our work to provide opportunities for young people to thrive, we are lucky at ac.care to work with amazing foster carers who truly transform the lives of vulnerable young people,” Ms Atkinson said.
“We look forward to sharing one of these many positive stories with the audience to show the value of foster care for not only the young people involved, but also the carers, who often find new meaning and purpose in their lives.”
The evening will also feature a guest presentation by SA Guardian for Children and Young People Penny Wright, who has dedicated decades of public life to social justice issues and supporting vulnerable South Australians.
“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,” Ms Wright said.
“Unfortunately there are not enough family based placements to go around and over 400 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.”
Ms Atkinson urged people to attend the forum at the ac.care Murraylands Centre at 29 Bridge Street in Murray Bridge at 6pm on March 16 to learn more about the needs of young people in the region.
Bookings are required for COVID-19 tracing purposes and can be made by visiting www.mlfostercareforum.eventbrite.com.au or via the booking form below.
Visit accare.org.au or call 1300 ACCARE (1300 222 273) for more information.