By PSS | Posted: Tuesday February 20, 2018
Family Works is putting out an urgent call for more foster parents, as demand continues to grow.
An increasing number of children and young people are requiring foster care within Southland.
Family Works Team Leader Margaret Knowler is urging anyone interested to get in touch.
“We are looking for caregivers who are able to offer a variety of care which sometimes is only meeting basic needs right through to supporting them to develop skills for independence with advice on things such as budgeting and basic home skills to prepare young people for a fulfilling life in the community.”
Margaret said people interested in fostering need to be resilient, tolerant and have a genuine wish to make a difference in children and young people’s lives and said the role they played was “invaluable”.
Barbara and Rex McElligott have opened their home to numerous children over the past 20 years and say it is now simply a way of life for their family.
“It really is a privilege to walk alongside these kids for a while. It’s great to see the change, the growth, the new experiences, the healing… to see their eyes light up when they see or do something new, and the new skills they gain, is special,” Barbara said.
The McElligotts have largely taken in children for a short period of time, with ages ranging from babies to teenagers, however one child who started that way is still a permanent member of their family 15 years on.
Full training and support is offered to anyone interested in becoming a foster parent, and there are opportunities to provide respite, mid or long term care.
To read more about the McElligott's foster care experience at click here.