Upper Murray Family Care is keen to break myths and let Border and North East residents know they could become foster carers, as the week dedicated to recognising foster carers draws to a close.
Now at the end of Foster Carer week, the team at UMFC says there is a lack of accredited carers in the region, but more people are capable of being carers than they realise.
Carer practitioner Dani Warland said there were about 80 households providing foster through UMFC, but there was need for up to 100 more.
"We want to find more foster carers," she said.
"We've got a massive shortage and we want more people to be able to explore the idea and what they might be able to offer."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Carer practitioner Michelle Wayenberg said people often ruled themselves out as carers due to misunderstandings.
"There are so many myths around foster caring," she said.
"People think they need to be married, or they need to own their own home or they think need to have had their own children or they think they need to fit the box.
"But it's not about that. Anyone can be a foster carer, if you're over 21 and you pass your police checks."
Ms Wayenberg said carers came from all walks of life, but were united by their desire to help vulnerable children.
"We've got single carers, we've got married carers, we've got same sex couple carers, single males, we've got people who are grandparents, people who have never married, people who have never had children before, we've got social workers, we've got teachers, we did have doctors, it's a huge range of people," she said.
Ms Warland said carers were important and were fully supported by the UMFC team. "The carers are absolutely never alone, they might be alone in the house with the child, but there is help just a phone call away," she said.
"These children need somewhere safe to grow and experience life and sometimes that isn't available to them in their home with their parents.
"So it's so important to have foster carers available who are able to provide that safe loving care."
Ms Wayenberg said UMFC was serious about supporting carers.
"We mean it," she said.
"We're going to be very transparent, when we get a referral there's a careful matching process, we don't just go, this person is available."
For more information visit https://www.umfc.com.au/services/foster-care/ or call 02 6055 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: