THIS week is Foster Care Week and Veritas House will celebrate with a range of activities recognising the significant contribution local foster carers make to the lives of vulnerable children and young people and to encourage local residents to consider becoming a carer.
A highlight will include the announcement of the Deb Elsley Memorial Award, recognising one exceptional carer who displays the Veritas House organisational values of relationships, collaboration, compassion and authenticity.
It will also see the announcement of three new awards recognising excellence in restoration, commitment to guardianship and facilitation of family time; as well as service awards for carers achieving five, 10, 15 and 20 year milestones.
According to Veritas House carer assessment and recruitment team leader, Melanie Hood, the awards are designed to acknowledge the significant contribution local foster carers make in providing a safe and supportive home environment for children in Out of Home Care.
"Our foster carers play a critical role in assisting children and young people in their care to grow and develop in a happy and healthy way and we are excited about the opportunity to honour and celebrate the contribution they make to our region," Ms Hood said.
Almost 80 households in the Central West are authorised foster carers with Veritas House, providing positive family environments for more than 90 children and young people.
However, Veritas is in need of more foster carers and will be launching an advertising campaign to coincide with Foster Care Week designed to encourage local residents to consider becoming carers.
"We hope our Foster Care Week activities celebrate the contribution our carers make to the lives of children and young people in our community and are also the first step towards becoming a carer for other people in our community," Ms Hood said.
For more information on becoming a foster carer with Veritas House, call Sara on 6332 3882 or visit www.veritashouse.org.au.