“6 years ago I had a thought of doing something to help the kiddies in this broken system. After a long placement at DHS Child Protection, I knew help was needed but never knew how much until I really got involved and, oh my, the need was and is huge (and sadly, growing). Thank you to all of A Better Life For Foster Kids’ wonderful volunteers, supporters, friends and every carer out there. Here’s to another 6 years but more importantly changes. Awareness brings Change “ – Heather Baird🤗
On this note…
Write to your MP
We have been working on a letter that our supporters can send to their local MP to help advocate for better policies for children in out of home care. You can request a copy by emailing heather[@]abetterlifeforfosterkids.org.au to help us advocate for better accountability and transparency for agencies and departments and policies that ensure permanency for children.
COVID-19 and Crisis Case Depots
We have also been very aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the carer community. A carer survey earlier this year showed over 40% were experiencing increased financial hardship since COVID-19. We are currently working on seeking funding to create 12 new Crisis Case Depots across regional Victoria. Carers and case workers will be able to pick up Crisis Cases from these Depots, ensuring easier access to the essentials needed to take on a placement when and where they are needed. It’s difficult enough to get the necessities to care for a child in normal times, but COVID-19 has added extra layers of risk and difficulty with store opening hours changed!
If you have a storage space you could offer (to fit approximately 34 wheeled suitcases) and are interested in volunteering for a period of at least 6 months as a Crisis Case Depot where carers can come to pick up cases, please get in touch.
A Better Life For Foster Kids made the decision to cease receiving donations and sorting operations during the height of the pandemic, to ensure our volunteers’ safety. During these difficult times the encouragement and support of our community was absolutely wonderful – thanks to those of you who left kind words on our facebook page!
“Never have you guys been more relevant and important. Carers like us who have kids at home who are confused and worried need positive reinforcement. Please don’t underestimate the impact that you guys have on foster carers and their placements. I am happy to donate to you guys because you make a difference each and every day. We are currently in Northern NSW in voluntary lock-down because we love our foster kids far more than the Government ever could. Cheers Terry and Annette Nesbitt, Authorised Foster Carers Inverell, NSW”
Handmade for children in out of home care…
Finally, a huge thanks to the wonderful crafters who have been making everything from toys to toiletry bags throughout the year for us to use in our Crisis Cases. A pattern for toiletry bags was the project supporting charities featured by Echidna Sewing – you can find it here. Thanks for the support Echidna Sewing! Such amazing work, and its so lovely for children to be surrounded by these handmade items – evidence that they are worth the time it takes our wonderful crafters to make and that they are cared for by our community! It really does make a difference!
“Morning Heather. Xxx put his hand knitted jumper on this morning, I said that it’s getting a bit small. He said, but it’s my favourite! “