Justin Hawkins – www.fostercareangels.org.au
Due to a shortage of foster care parents there are children living in hotel rooms. They have staff clocking on and off to supervise them and Foster Care Angels are committed to supporting foster care children living in hotels.
Looking back, childhood seems like a fun time, doesn’t it? For many of us, our childhood was a pleasant and for the most part, uneventful time. Things just were as they were – simple, straightforward, and relatively seamless.
We got to go to school, make friends, play and be silly, and maybe get a lolly from the canteen at lunch! Then we got to go home to our family and have dinner around the dining table, listening to mum or dad tell us about their day.
Childhood is a little different for kids in foster care. For these children, their childhood is a time of upheaval, unease and confusion. Maybe there’s been some issues at home, or neglect, and now there’s no one to take care of them properly, so they are thrust into the foster care system. No matter their age, all children entering the foster care system feel an array of confusing emotions at this stage. Many of them are too young to understand the situation unfolding around them, and many may be too shy or scared to be assertive or ask questions. “Why can’t I see my mum or dad?” “Where am I going?” “How am I going to do my school work?” “Where is my favourite book?
Or…anything of my own, for that matter?” Often, when children enter the foster care system, they are separated from most, if not all, of their belongings. They don’t know when they’ll see their family again, or what the future holds, and they are expected to settle into their new surroundings and continue with their lives as best they can. All of this new and all encompassing information can be completely overwhelming, and not helped by the fact that they likely only have the clothes on their back as their total belongings, meaning they have very little to cling to physically and emotionally. We know that foster care families do an amazing job loving and supporting foster children.
It’s because of loving families that foster kids get a second chance, and have the opportunity to flourish as best they can. Here at Foster Care Angels, we aim to take a little of the worry out of the transition into foster care. We provide Care Packages for children entering the foster care system, that are made up of age and gender appropriate essential and comfort items such as baby needs, toiletries, school supplies, toys, books and a soft toy to cuddle.
It’s our belief that all children deserve a chance at an enriched life, and that sometimes the little things can make the biggest impact.