To quote Dr. Seuss: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
This principal sits at the core of the philosophy of this month’s Pure Community donation recipient.
Foster Care Angels keep a watchful eye over the NSW Foster Care system, from the children entering through to the teenagers leaving, and even the carers themselves. And with over 20,000 children living in Foster Care across NSW, Foster Care Angels have their work cut out for them.
They are committed to ensuring that these children feel respected without discrimination, while promoting dignity and self-respect, especially in times that are often full of trauma and distress. This is achieved through a range of programs:
Care packages & Bed-in-a-bag
Foster Care Angels recognise that children entering Foster Care often do so with little or no possessions. So, to help with the transition they started packing and distributing a range of personal items which are designed to give these kids a sense of self-worth, belonging, ownership, and independence during their transition away from their biological parents or into a group home.
These Care Packages are backpacks which have been individually tailored for kids and contain essentials such as school supplies and toiletries, as well as toys, books and a comfort item. Similarly, the Bed-in-a-bag program was created to provide those being placed in a group home their own personal bedding which includes a quilt, towel, sheets, and pillows to help promote independence and a sense of self-worth.
After identifying a high-level of placement breakdowns, Foster Care Angels began to provide relief support and respite for the carers who work so hard to provide stability in the lives of these children.
Foster Care Angels arrange ‘Recharge Retreats’ for carers to help prevent them from burning out. These retreats provide carers with the opportunity to have a weekend away in holiday accommodation with other carers. This facilitates an opportunity for them to recharge and to also network with other carers, helping to reduce feelings of isolation.
Counselling & Education
Foster Care Angels understand the importance of positive mental health. For young people aged between 15 and 24 they operate the A-Maze-In Mind program which helps to develop and promote mental health and wellness skills.
For the bigger kids, Foster Care Angels offer a scholarship program through the University of Western Sydney. This is available to students facing financial hardship that have been, or are currently, in out-of-home care. If you know of anyone who could benefit from this, spread the word and encourage them to apply!
The amazing and deeply important work of Foster Care Angels doesn’t stop here. In order to help them keep it up, we encourage you to find out more and to please give if you can: