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Changes Sought In Foster Care Week

26 Feb 2001

As part of Foster Care Week, the Christchurch City’s Deputy Mayor, Lesley Keast, is to explore ways to get more Government help for foster parents.

She says that she has learnt that foster care in the United Kingdom is regarded as a profession and carers classed as professional people. They are paid and given career opportunities. There, the Government fully funds recruitment drives for foster parents.

But in New Zealand it is not so highly regarded, she says. “Foster parents in New Zealand get board payments but no pay for their services. I would like this to change. I am going to meet people involved in the foster-care field to explore whether we can get our Government to follow the UK model,” Mrs Keast says.

Child Youth and Family Services, the Open Home Foundation, and the Presbyterian Support Services all required more foster parents, she says.

An open morning tea will be held on Thursday 1 March from 10.30am to noon at the CYFS office, Winston Avenue, Papanui, for anyone interested in foster care.

The contact is Maree Meechang on 963 2125.

A Foster Care Silver Jubilee Conference will be held in Christchurch on 19-22 April at which grief, loss and separation workshops will be held.

Also workshops will be held on teenagers, mental health issues, including suicide.

The conference convenor is Fred Knewstubb of PO Box 16-461, Hornby, or email: fostercareconf2001@xtra.co.nz.

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