Act for Kids prgram manager Caterina Schulz, acting manager child safety Di McDonnell, state Assistant Minister for Child Safety Tarnya Smith and Act for Kids regional manager Debra Doherty.
Act for Kids prgram manager Caterina Schulz, acting manager child safety Di McDonnell, state Assistant Minister for Child Safety Tarnya Smith and Act for Kids regional manager Debra Doherty. Valerie Horton

Region is crying out for more foster carers

WITH about 140 foster carers and 285 children in care, the Wide Bay region is crying out for more people to open their homes, Assistant Minister for Child Safety Tarnya Smith says.

Ms Smith was in Maryborough on Tuesday for Child Protection Week, where she met foster carers and the staff behind the early intervention child neglect trial Fostering Families.

The state-funded trial - already at capacity only four months after first taking referrals - helps parents when the early stages of neglect have been identified.

Ms Smith said the trial echoed recommendations made in the Carmody child protection of commission inquiry report, which would drive major changes in the child safety sector.

She said early intervention services were likely to continue in some form in the Wide Bay even after the end of the two-year trial.

"It may not exactly look like this, but you'll see similarities," she said.

After meeting with Fostering Families, Ms Smith also attended a special morning tea with volunteer carers at Pathways.

Hervey Bay carers John and Anne Macauley were among the carers who attended.

The two have shared their home with 19 children since becoming foster carers six years ago.

They also do respite and high needs care.

The Macauleys encouraged other people to consider becoming foster carers, despite the difficulties, because of the difference it made in a child's life.

Child Protection Week

  • The event runs from September 1-7
  • It promotes awareness of child abuse and neglect and prevention services
  • Visit childprotectionweek.org.au for more information


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