Thanks to "super" mum
Monday, 24th May, 2010
A local woman and her husband who have cared for 54 vulnerable children over 14 years were yesterday thanked for their efforts.
During a weekend visit to the city NSW Minister for Community Services Linda Burney met foster carer Di Robinson and her husband to thank the couple and send out a call for more foster parents.
Di currently cares for Aboriginal siblings aged 15 and 16, who have been with her for 11 years.
The children have become "so much a part of the family" that they stayed with the family after Di suffered a debilitating stroke several years ago.
"We just couldn't bear to let them go, they are family," said Di, who also has two biological daughters aged 20 and 22.
Di was inspired to become a carer after meeting a group of foster children who were out with their foster family. She said that fostering has changed her outlook on life - made her more understanding.
"I have had to learn sign language and medical terminology to help my foster daughter who has hearing problems. Every child brings his or her particular challenges. It is hard, but rewarding work," she said.
Di celebrated her 44th birthday yesterday.
Ms Burney said there was an urgent need for more people in Broken Hill to open up their hearts and homes to vulnerable children.
"Thousands of children every year come into care because they cannot live safely with their own families. These children urgently need safe and loving homes," she said.
"We need more people from all walks of life to come on board now to take on this important role."
Carers can be single, de facto, with or without children and from any religious or cultural background.
"We need people who care about children, people who are responsible, healthy and
have the energy and stamina to look after children.
"People can choose to be a long term carer, or can take in children for a few nights in an emergency, or a respite carer who helps on weekends or a few times a month.
"I encourage people to think about fostering and consider whether they have the patience, compassion and energy to help children and young people in need. Fostering is not for everyone and there are challenges along the way. Many of these children have suffered unimaginable trauma in their short lives, which can have a profound impact on their behaviour.
"But foster carers will receive help every step of the way. They receive training, caseworker support, foster peer group support and an allowance to cover most expenses of raising a foster child."
The website, www.fosteringnsw.com.au, provides a one-stop shop for people wanting to learn more and outlines the steps to apply. For more information interested people can also call 1800 2 367 837).