Foster care rates in Launceston are declining but they provide a vital service to those in need

Northern foster carer Anita Jones stands up for the voiceless.

Ms Jones has been a foster carer for eight years and summed it up perfectly when asked why she continued to give her time for vulnerable children in our community – children are not disposable.

Growing up in a foster carer family gave Ms Jones an insight into the system and when she was an adult, she followed in her family’s footsteps.

She said the children that came into her family’s home were like her siblings, she didn’t know any different and when she became an adult, she didn’t want to turn her back on them.

It is no secret that there is a great need for foster carers in Tasmania.

Launceston and North-West based service provider Glenhaven has begun one of its many recruitment drives, and has gone to the lengths to put a banner outside a property at Riverside.

Vulnerable children are the voiceless in our community – they need help for a variety of reasons.

It is often a complex and varied reason, and foster carers provide that sure link for families in time of need.

Time apart may be the medicine the doctor ordered that will help glue a family back together – in this way foster carers provide a vital service that should be congratulated.

With volunteering rates going down in sports and other services across the board, it isn’t a surprise to know foster caring, which comes with it all that added emotion, is also experiencing lower rates.

However, developing a bond with a foster child can also be very rewarding.

Ms Jones said you become an advocate for that child and watching them succeed is like watching your own child succeed.

The small wins are the crucial ones and it would be rewarding to know you have played a part in improving outcomes for that child, whether it’s getting them back together with their family, or improving their education or lifestyle prospects.

Vulnerable children are out there, in every community in Tasmania, and the need is only growing.

The people who choose to be part of the foster caring community should be congratulated for the support they give to other families, they are truly selfless.

The impact they have on these childrens’ lives can’t be measured.

But are they a dying breed? We hope not.