Foster Care Week 2016: Be Part of an Amazing Journey, Foster a Child's Future
ACWA kicked off NSW’s 26th Foster Care Week celebrations in September with a massive Superhero-themed picnic day in the beautiful grounds of Western Sydney Parklands.
Once again, we were blessed with a warm, sunny day and more than 1000 foster carers and children were treated to a day bursting with entertainment enthusiastically led by visiting Superheroes, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Winter Soldier and Spiderman.
There was also a terrific show by Magic Brothers World, an animal petting zoo, a drumming workshop, mask making and a host of games run by volunteers from Western Sydney University’s Lodestar program. As well as these fun activities, there was food for all and prizes awarded for best costumes as well as a carer prize draw.
The picnic festivities began with a Welcome to Country by Darug man Chris Tobin followed by an official opening by Minister for Family and Community Services Brad Hazzard, who then spent the afternoon chatting to carers and volunteers as he toured the picnic site with FACS Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter and Federal MP for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek.
“This week helps us all to acknowledge the safe, stable, and loving homes foster carers create for so many vulnerable children and young people in NSW,” Mr Hazzard said.
“They are doing a terrific job but we need many more individuals and families to provide emergency, respite, short-term and long-term care for children in need.”
The theme of this year’s Foster Care Week, ‘Be part of an amazing journey – Foster a Child’s Future’, highlights the ways in which foster carers can make a life-changing difference to a child by offering them a loving and safe home, instilling in them the sense of belonging and stability that will help them thrive and reach their full potential in life.
“Foster carers play an invaluable role in our community and out-of-home care agencies work hard to provide them the right support, training and guidance to ensure they are well equipped to meet the complexities and challenges they may face along the way,” ACWA Acting CEO Dr Wendy Foote said.
“NSW is lucky to have exceptional people like this in our community who are dedicated to giving vulnerable children and young people a safe second chance.”
Around 150 volunteers from both the Government and NGO sectors worked tirelessly to make the picnic a huge success, flipping burgers, painting faces, controlling traffic, and handing out goodies to the appreciative crowd.
Events are being held right around NSW throughout Foster Care Week, concluding on September 17 with the annual Kids in Care Cup Aboriginal Footy Knockout in Wollongong.