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A time to remember caregivers

29 October 2006 Media Statement

Foster Care Awareness Week a time to remember caregivers

Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson is paying tribute to New Zealand's thousands of caregivers to mark Foster Care Awareness Week.

”Caregivers hold a unique place in our society, which is often not fully recognised, valued or appreciated,” Ruth Dyson said.

Child, Youth and Family has close to 3000 caregivers looking after almost 4000 children and young people in its care. There are also thousands of other caregivers around the country, working for non-government organisations and in less formal arrangements such as relatives looking after extended family members.

“Foster Care Awareness Week is a time celebrate and focus on the contribution made by caregivers. Caregiving is a very special role. People give unconditional love to some of the country’s most needy children - in many cases until the child can be reunited with parents or other relatives. It is a difficult and emotionally-demanding balancing act and calls for very special people,” Ms Dyson said.

Many of Child, Youth and Family’s caregivers have a tradition of fostering, with families who open their homes to help vulnerable children generation after generation.

Foster Care Awareness Week is organised by the New Zealand Family and Foster Care Association and its local caregiver associations.

A number of events have been organised by them and Child, Youth and Family around the country including a “fun day” launch event in Napier, a relay event in the Bay of Plenty and the inaugural William Wallace Awards in Wellington, helping children in care to realise their full potential.

Foster Care Awareness Week runs from 29 October to 4 November.

Ends

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