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MIL OSI – Source: Child Youth and Family – Release/Statement

Headline: Aroha for children is vital

Loving foster carers fill this void for children and young people every day—it changes lives. On Foster Care Awareness Week, 5-11 March, we honour them for this incredible gift.

Monique Goodhew says her foster parents helped turn her life around.

“For me what made the difference was having someone who chose to be my parent for no good reason other than love – it wasn’t about them or being paid. It’s all about the love, somewhere I belong and someone to be proud of me.

“You can’t just go into an unloving family and expect to flourish.”

For Fostering Kids NZ, the charity which supports caregiving families, Foster Care Awareness Week is a time to honour the ordinary people providing extraordinary support to our most vulnerable children and young people.

CEO Linda Surtees says “people who provide foster and permanent homes never do it for the recognition – they do it because they care. But they do deserve widespread support and thanks from the community. This is a great opportunity to celebrate them as powerful agents of change.”

In a highlight of the awareness week, ten extraordinary caregivers or couples will receive Excellence in Foster Care Awards at a ceremony held at Government House on Friday 10 March.

Incoming chief executive of Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Gráinne Moss says the award winners show us how changing children’s lives is possible.

“What the people we honour do for children is absolutely humbling. They understand that children and young people need caring relationships that last well beyond the time spent in their care.

“More than just their own love, foster carers help surround and sustain each child with people who support and love them— providing a sense of belonging that every child deserves.”

Foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds and can be married, single, working or stay-at-home parents. You can choose direct ministry support through Child, Youth and Family (from 1 April the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki), or talk to a range of community organisations about foster caring. This means people have options to care in the way that works best for them and their lives.

This week we also say thank you to these organisations for all the work they do to find safe, loving homes for vulnerable children and young people:

Arohanui Christian Trust

Barnados New Zealand

Birthright (HB) Child and Family Care Trust Brackenridge Estate Limited

CCS Disability Action Auckland Inc

Cholmondeley Children’s Centre Inc

The Dingwall Trust

Hauraki Māori Trust Board

Homes of Hope Charitable Trust

Idea Services Ltd

Iosis Ltd

The Kauri Trust

Key Assets NZ Ltd

Kōkiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust

The Mount Cargill Trust

Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services Ltd

Ngāti Awa Social Services Trust

Ngāti Ranginui Iwi Society Inc

NZCare Group Ltd

Open Home Foundation of new Zealand

Presbyterian Support Southland

Reconnect Family Services

Tauranga Christian Community Trust

Te Ikaroa Rangatahi Social Services Inc

Te Iwi O Ngāti Kahu Trust

Te Korowai Roopu Tautoko Inc

Te Rūnanga O Ngai Te Rangi Iwi Trust

Te Rūnanga O Turanganui Ā Kiwa

The Richmond Fellowship of New Zealand

The Lifewise Trust

The Youth Horizons Trust

Wesley Community Action

To become a foster carer you need the desire to give children and young people love, support, understanding and encouragement. There are many ways to help – start by simply calling 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459).

Foster Care Awareness Week runs from Sunday 5 March to Saturday 11 March. Originally founded by Fostering Kids New Zealand, the week celebrates and acknowledges the role of foster carers who care for our most vulnerable children and young people.

Everyone should care for children. You can show your support by sharing this message, so it finds the special person who will foster a child.

Monique Goodhew is a care experienced member of the VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai Steering Group and Board of Trustees, the independent connection and advocacy service launching on 1 April.

Interested in finding out more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about what’s involved with becoming a foster carer, please call us on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459). 

There is also more information about fostercaring on our website.