CHILDREN in the New England are in need of caring foster carers, with demand outweighing available carers.
In Tamworth, there is urgent need for families to provide respite and short-term care for children in need of a temporary home; particularly, teenagers, sibling groups and children with disabilities.
One couple fulfilling this role is Jim Lyon and Leeanne Frisby.
They became foster parents five years ago after they were unable to have children naturally.
Mr Lyon said the decision to become a foster carer was one of the best decisions he had ever made,
“There are a lot of misconceptions about fostering but our experience has been really positive,” he said.
“All children just need love and someone to trust. We get so excited when we see the difference we can make in these kids’ lives, if only for a short time.”
Mr Lyon said fostering had allowed them to parent many children.
“When you become a foster carer your family network completely broadens,” he said.
“Instead of being dad to one or two children, I am now foster parent to many kids all of whom have impacted our lives just as much we did theirs.”
They said they couldn’t imagine life without their house filled with kids now.
“Each week in NSW alone, on average, 65 children are placed in care and these kids are in desperate need of love, stability and a home of their own,” Challenge Children’s Services general manager Stephen Doley said.
Foster carers can provide short-term care, long-term care, respite and crisis care.
Temporary or short-term care is one night to three months, long-term care is for children who need a family to grow up in until their family circumstances change and respite involves care provided for regular short stays. Crisis care is short notice care that begins immediately and can be anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Foster carers can be single people, empty nesters, straight and same sex couples, older and younger people, and people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds.
If you can help children in need, contact Fostering NSW at fosteringnsw.com.au or 1800 236 783.