Foster Bear visiting town to help enlist more carers

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Child Youth and Family are always looking for new foster carers, and now they’ve got a mascot to help with their campaign.

Meet Foster Bear. He’s visiting Oamaru to help Child Youth and Family in their drive to help vulnerable children.

“We’re always looking for caregivers for vulnerable children – we’re always particularly short of teenage respite placements,” Oamaru caregiver liaison social worker Karen Mosedale said.

“We need people who can provide short-term care, long-term care, emergency care and we’re always looking for people who can care with teenagers.”

Foster carers are ordinary people who do an extraordinary job in providing love, care and support to children and young people who can’t live with their own families, Mrs Mosedale said.

“You can be young, you can be old, in a variety of situations – but we need people with time and space to care for the kids who haven’t had the best start and don’t always behave in the same way other kids do, but need help just to achieve their potential,” she said.

It takes care, patience and acceptance, but for most people, foster care gave them a sense of satisfaction after giving someone a start, or helping them through some difficult situations.

“For most people, it’s a sense of giving a young person a chance,” she said.

“Not everyone is able to do it, but the people who can are fantastic and they make a real difference to children’s lives.”

Oamaru had a “really lovely” set of caregivers, but they were always looking for more carers, particularly for teenagers.

There’s a support group, active in supporting the caregivers, and training is provided.

If you think that you may have what it takes to be a foster carer for Child, Youth and Family then Mrs Mosedale would love to hear from you.

“If you’ve ever thought about it, we’d be really happy to talk about it,” she said.

For more information call 03 904 2707 or toll free on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326459). Alternatively you can email karen.mosedale003@cyf.govt.nz

By Rebecca Ryan