Message from Dallas
March is special as it holds Foster Care Awareness Week and a chance to celebrate some wonderful caregivers at the Excellence in Foster Care Awards in Wellington on the 10th March.
Congratulations to Rose Bennett, Pat Ede, Sally Mowbray-Lee and Brian Lee who are heading to Government House on the 10th to be honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Governor General. On behalf of your region, thank you for your hard work and have a great time.
Many other events around the country will be held during Foster Care Awareness Week (5th–11th March) to help raise awareness of the great and important role you do. Also, expect to see more stories like this one celebrating the work of Waiuku couple Mary and David.
School has well and truly started. The beginning of the year can often be a very stressful time for children, especially if they are having to start a new school. Children in care feel this pressure even more and can become quite anxious. Here are some key tips you can use over this time:
- Be open with communication-this may mean more scaffolding with information.
- Make sure the children are included in purchasing uniform, stationery and give them some age appropriate choices on their stationery.
- If they are attention seeking, give them the extra attention and re-affirm them.
- Try and keep routines, if possible.
- Help the transition process, this may mean going to the school and sitting with them until they feel okay.
- Remember this is about building another opportunity to build a secure attachment, not only with you, but their teachers.
I am keen to know what events you would like in your area over the next six months. I am also keen to hear from people in Coromandel, Raglan and other isolated places, for ideas of how we as Fostering Kids NZ can support you. For example, if you have a group of caregivers in your area, we could hold a support meeting once a term.
The year is truly moving forward quickly. Just to inform you I will only be available on Monday-Wednesday, but please feel free to contact our National office for any urgent queries – 0800 693 323.
Noho ora mai
Auckland South Regional Coordinator
Cell: 027 501 0395
Dates for Diary
We have a busy few weeks ahead with our Family Fun Day on the 5th March.
This will be an event not to be missed. We have just been able to secure the use of an Ice-skating Rink for the day. This is a day for our families to celebrate Children’s day and also to lead into Fostercare week.
Waikato/Hauraki will be running a Family Fun Day on 11th March 2017 at Claudelands Park from 10am-2pm. There will be face-painting, free sausage sizzle, free balloon creations and bouncy castles. Come and meet our amazing team.
This month I would like to introduce Mira Elmsley to you. She is one of the Key Contacts for Waikato/Hauraki Foster Care Association.
Mira has been a Key Contact with us for over a year. She has a passion to ensure whanau caregivers are supported and would like to see more supports put in for Maori caregivers, as well as ensuring all caregivers are equipped to support Maori children in care. Mira and I have recently met with Tainui Iwi. We at Fostering Kids NZ are working on a project called “Manaaki Tautoko” looking at how Key Contacts/Manaaki Tautoko can provide the kind of support Maori caregivers would like. We are very privileged to have Mira on board and to be able to use her passion and expertise in this area.
Just a reminder we have 3 Facebook pages for caregivers… feel free to join and see information that is placed on there by other caregivers.
One suggestion that I am looking at especially in South Auckland is that we run a one-day training over 2 days, starting at 10am and finishing at 2pm to be able to ensure people can avoid traffic and pick up children after school without missing out on training. Keep an eye out on the first trial of this for next term.
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