INDIVIDUALS and families in the northern suburbs are being encouraged to consider a selfless and rewarding role as a foster carer.
There are about 320 children and young people in care in the Joondalup district, 44 general foster carer households and 44 family carer households.
The Joondalup district includes northern suburbs such as Butler and Yanchep.
The Department for Child Protection and Family Support’s district director Milan Soactar said the department is looking for committed people willing to open their hearts and homes to care for children and young people in need.
Those considering becoming a foster carer who would like to find out more are invited to attend an information session at Joondalup House, 8 Davidson Terrace, Joondalup on Wednesday, August 31 from 6pm to 8pm.
Mr Soactar said at the information session, people could find out what it was like to be a foster carer, and the support and training opportunities available to carers.
“Foster carers are everyday people who like helping others, especially children,’’ he said.
“They can be male or female, single or couples, same sex relationships, with or without children of their own, working full or part-time, or retired.
The department is focussing its recruitment efforts on encouraging more Aboriginal people to become foster carers.
“More than 50 per cent of children in care are Aboriginal, and the department strives to place them with their extended family, a member of their Aboriginal community or other Aboriginal carers whenever possible.
“When Aboriginal carers are not available children can be placed with other local foster carers.”
Mr Soactar said every child deserved a permanent, safe, stable, and nurturing home, and for children in care this needed to occur at the earliest opportunity to help them overcome the trauma that many will have suffered.
“Fostering has many rewards, but it can also be very challenging, so the department provides a range of supports to assist and equip foster carers with the skills needed to help children grow into strong and confident adults.”