Country agency ac.care is celebrating carers in the Murraylands, Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula this Department for Child Protection Foster and Kinship Carers Week (September 13 to 19).
There are more than 70 private households across these regions who have opened up their hearts and homes to more than 80 vulnerable young people.
One remarkable carer in the Murraylands, Auntie Angie (pictured above), has welcomed more than 40 young people into her home in the past 30 years, including many Aboriginal children who she has helped stay connected to their culture.
“It makes you feel really good to make a difference in young lives,” Angie explained.
Angie is among more than 200 foster cares in ac.care’s network across eastern regional South Australia and she feels a family-based home environment provides the best possible opportunities for young people in state care.
“Even if I can only take them in for a few days or weeks until they can find an ongoing placement, it makes a difference, but my goal is always for children in foster care to stay in one place if possible,” Angie said.
Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula ac.care foster care manager Tahila Angel praised the diverse and dedicated carers in the region.
“They truly make a remarkable difference in young lives, providing safety, stability and a nurturing environment,” Ms Angel said.
With the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable families expected to prompt an increase in the number of young people in need of support, the agency hopes to recruit a further 30 foster carers this year.
Foster care manager Dani Atkinson said ac.care welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in becoming a foster carer, with opportunities to commit to long-term, short-term or respite care.
“Family-based care can make a huge difference in the lives of infants, children and youths and we are inspired every day by our wonderful carers who live by their commitment to provide a stable and nurturing environment for vulnerable young people,” she said.
“Our agency provides extensive support to carers to ensure they are not alone on their journey of caring, wherever they are based in eastern regional South Australia.”
She said teams based in the Limestone Coast, Riverland and Murraylands worked closely with the network of carers, which extends to the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.
“We would love to hear from anyone interested in finding out more about foster care and whether the time is right for them to open their heart and home to a young person in need,” Ms Atkinson said.
Photo at top of Murraylands foster carer Angie, supplied by ac.care