A former Tasmanian Foster and Kinship Carer of the Year winner has urged others who might be thinking of becoming carers to get involved.
Eleanor Kramer, a foster carer of 5 years, is using Foster Carer & Kinship Carers Week to spread the message about caring.
The week-long campaign is spearheaded by Life Without Borders and Ashgrove Cheese, and features 10,000 neck-tags on milk bottles along with coffee cups and flyers in over 20 supporting cafes across the state.
“It’s worthwhile doing,” Mrs Kramer said.
“It’s not as hard as some people think it is.”
“Any sort of stigma attached to being a foster carer really isn’t there.”
Though for many people full-time caring might be unachievable, Mrs Kramer said there are other options for those who would like the help in some way.
“A lot of people think that you have to be married and not working so that you can spend time at home with the children.
“But you don’t - I work full time, I have a husband that works full time. We fit in kids into our lives and we get a whole lot out of it.
Mrs Kramer said when support is needed, it’s there – whether it’s from Life Without Barriers or other carers.
“There’s always somebody to talk to.”
Life Without Barriers state director for Tasmania Rhonda McLaughlin said the group had over 100 foster carers across the state, but they could always use help, “whether you can spare one weekend a month or more.”
“You can make a real difference to the lives of children in your community if you are able to get involved.”
Dr Julian Watchorn, acting chief executive of the Foster and Kinship Carers Association on Tasmania, certainly agrees.
“Foster carers play a very important role in a child or young person's life by providing much needed stability and care during a time when they cannot live at home,” he said.
“Foster carers receive a non-taxable, regular payment to reimburse them for costs associated with their caring role.
“Carers also receive appropriate training and can access after-hours emergency advice and assistance.”
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