Information session in Port Macquarie for potential carers Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 29, 2022 There are 15,895 children living in out-of-home care in the state of NSW. TO find and inform potential new carers in the Mid North Coast, My Forever Family NSW will hold a free Becoming a Carer Information Session for locals at Port City Bowling Club in Port Macquarie on Tuesday, 30 August from 5:30pm. The session will raise awareness about the critical need for more people to become involved in caring for children and young people currently living in the state care system. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – email@example.com There remains a critical shortage of carers in the Mid North Coast and 15,895 children living in out-of-home care in the state of NSW. The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that a staggering fifteen children and young people per 1000 are living in out of home care in the Mid North Coast region compared with nine in 1000 across the whole of NSW. These are children and young people who can’t live safely with their family and need a safe and nurturing place to call home. The session will focus on the need for emergency carers for children and teenagers on the Mid North Coast to ensure that children in care can thrive and continue to form strong bonds with their families and community. Emergency care provides a secure home for children and young people for short periods of time, anywhere between 48 hours to a few weeks, providing a stable environment for a child while a longer-term placement is found. Emergency carers play a vital role in providing security and warmth to a child when they are at their most vulnerable. Over time carers become a part of a child’s extended family and network of support, providing guidance and mentorship and helping build a sense of security and community for the child or young person. The information session will inform potential carers of the different options of care available and will be an opportunity to ask questions of local agencies, be introduced to the services of My Forever Family NSW, hear from a representative from the Department of Communities and Justice NSW, plus hear the first-hand experiences of current carers. Registered emergency carer Sharron* is passionate about providing a secure home for children and young people for short periods of time whenever she can. “It’s a very rewarding experience to open up your home and life to a young person. “To be able to provide that safe and nurturing home as well as being a person they can trust and turn to for support and encouragement throughout their life if they need it. “One of the ways I try to make my home welcoming to a child or young person is by using fairy lights as well as night lights in the bedroom to provide that extra comfort for a child who may be feeling unsure in a dark room in an unfamiliar home.” While having some supplies ready for a child coming in as an emergency placement is helpful, the most important thing a carer can provide is a sense of safety by connecting with the child. “Just sharing what we are doing for the day, takes away the unknown and helps a child feel safe in a stressful period for them. I say we’re going to have dinner, then a bath, and read a story before bedtime – that predictability and routine provides certainty in an uncertain time for a child,” said Sharron. “Emergency care is a unique experience, I had one little girl who was understandably upset, and I reassured her by telling her ‘I am going to keep you safe until your case worker can find somebody else that can keep you safe’ and her case worker said that was exactly what she needed to hear.” While there will be a focus on information about emergency care for children and young people in the local community, there are many different types of care options available to suit individual and family circumstances, all of which will be covered. My Forever Family NSW spokesperson Michelle Stacpoole highlighted the significance of the program for the local community and the urgent need for carers, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. “We are looking for singles, couples, and families who can offer care to a child at short notice. “Being a carer for kids is not a one size fits all, we encourage people at different life stages to get in touch as they may be the unique carer a child needs to feel safe. “There are many ways you can help children thrive and emergency care is a great place to start. “These sessions are an opportunity to ask questions about becoming an emergency carer in an open and relaxed setting, and to chat directly with those who have lived experience as carers. “It’s a chance for people considering becoming carers now to understand the next steps and those who are considering this option for the future to come along and find out more.” For more information on this special online information session please go to https://www.eventsforchange.org.au/infosession You can find more information about My Forever Family NSW at www.myforeverfamily.org.au/ *Names have been changed Fifteen children and young people per 1000 are living in out of home care in the Mid North Coast region.