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Foster Awareness - Support to caregivers improves

Media Release
31 October 2005

Foster Care Awareness Week - Support to caregivers improves

Foster Care Awareness Week kicks off today (31st October) to recognise the role of caregivers and educate others about caregiving and what it entails. The Week runs from 31st October to 5th November and is run by the New Zealand Family and Foster Care Federation (NZFFCF).

During the past year the Department has worked to improve support to its caregivers including ensuring they all have a caregiver liaison social worker and installing smoke detectors in 1000 caregiver homes in high risk regions. The Foster Care Allowance also increased by $15 per child per week from1 April this year.

“Caregivers play a usually-unsung role within communities all over the country. This Week is a time to bring the role these extraordinary people play into the spotlight,” said Mike Munnelly, Manager Care and Protection.

The theme this year is “Join your local foster care association and be part of the team”. The NZFFCF has organisations nationwide that offer a support network to caregivers.

Each year, Child, Youth and Family also recognises the Week by organising activities and events around the country. This year, some of the activities include a morning tea for caregivers hosted by the Governor-General which takes place on 4th November. Caregivers from the Federation’s local associations as well as 20 caregivers from Child, Youth and Family will attend the tea.

There are also many other activities planned regionally. These include a Round the Mount Relay in the Bay of Plenty, barbecues with clowns and facepainting, picnics and gifts of photoframes.

As at 30 June 2005, the Department had 2498 caregivers looking after 3898 children and young people aged 0-16 years. The caregivers are both family/whānau and non-kin.

Anyone wanting to become a caregiver for Child, Youth and Family should call
0508 326 459.

ENDS

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