Canterbury News – May 2017

Kia ora everyone

This month we’re very pleased to introduce our new Regional Coordinator for Canterbury Lorraine Murray.

Lorraine has a background working in mental health, addictions, criminal justice and with vulnerable women. Lorraine and her husband have been respite caregivers for the last three years.

Lorriane Murray – Our new Fostering Kids NZ Canterbury Regional Co-ordinator

Lorraine is learning Te reo Māori to help connect with the children she provides respite for.

“I get a lot out of it. They think it is really funny – my pronunciation of things.”

Mother to a 28 year old daughter, Lorraine says she’s excited to be able to provide support and training to caregivers in the Canterbury region.

Lorraine believes her previous experience and current knowledge will help in her role. Her mantra is having empathy with people and understanding where they come from.

Expect to see Lorraine in the community in the next few weeks.

Emergency kits

The recent cyclones that have blasted various parts of the country is a reminder that we need to have our emergency kits updated and in order. If you had to evacuate in a hurry what would that look like and what would you take?

Here is a link to use as a prompt:

Mental health resources

We have had a number of caregivers ask us for information about mental health well-being, depression and suicidal thoughts related to children and young people.  This is a sensitive topic but something we as caregivers need to consider and be prepared for. CASA is a great website, based in New Zealand with many different topics, to find out more click here –  Below are just some topics we thought might be of value to you:

Facebook help a friend in need
Supporting Young people with stress, anxiety and/or depression
What does a grieving child or teen need the most?
Problem Solving technique for Youth
Skylight grief resources including “Holidays and Special Days”
Cyberbullying and Harmful Communications – Help for Parents
Tips to help someone with depression
Crisis and Trauma reactions
Deliberate Self-Harm
Coping for recovery
Identifying Suicide Concerns in Children and Young Adolescents
Risk factors and triggers for suicidal behaviour in youth
Providing a Safe Home Environment for the Suicidal Young Person

As a caregiver, if you would like to talk with someone more about dealing with a child in your care that you have concerns about contact our critical support service at National Office on 0800 693 323.


Nga mihi

Stephanie James-Sadler

National Training & Support Manager

0800 693 323

Association news


Ashburton Foster Care Support Group | Noella Talbot | 03 308 3263 |
Christchurch Family and Foster Care Association Inc. | Jill Hurrell | 03 347 4795 |
Otautahi Foster Care Association | Angela Swinney acting Chairperson | 03 960 1417 |
South Canterbury Foster Whanau Support | Kartina Merrick | 0274169708 |

Otautahi Foster Care Association – Your ideas are needed – how can we best support you?

I am newly appointed in the role of Chairperson as Mary Stott is overseas. We thank Mary for her hard work and commitment to the organisation and wish her well while she undertakes her role supporting her grandchildren.  This association was set up to hear your views and act as an advocate along with hosting events so that you and your family are not isolated and feel supported in your important role.

It was great to have Rob Surtees come and share a morning with us and tell us about the PACE model of parenting where a foster parent is trained to provide therapeutic care. Thanks for sharing your morning with us Rob we look forward to hearing more details soon about training opportunities. It was exciting to hear how the new Oranga Tamariki may look and I stress as foster carers we are part of the change, it is vital that we embrace the changes and do all we can to make the care experience as positive as possible for our tamariki.

May meeting will be held on the 17th at the St Albans Community Hall – your ideas will be collated so a plan can be made from there. Please note this is different from that advertised at the April meeting – due to stock taking at Bunnings.

June meeting is on the 21st at Bunnings Tower Junction – we will be creating something and then moving on to the café for a cuppa. All very welcome please RSVP so that I can make sure enough craft supplies are available.

Help needed: Do you have a skill that you could offer the Family Homes – they are looking for people to go in and offer some time to the young people for example shooting basketball hoops. Let me know what ideas you have and I will get in you touch with the right person.


A great day swimming with heaps of families at Pioneer – we look forward to hosting more events such as these in the future.





Fostering Kids NZ conference – we are so privileged to be the chosen host city this year. Please consider attending it is such valuable learning, with great overseas speakers. Please refer to the Fostering Kids NZ website for more details, costs etc.

Do you foster a High and Complex Needs Child? Would you be interested in a support group targeting these complicated issues? Please let me know – I’m really passionate as I know your struggles.

Winters coming – wanting to read a good book or watch a good movie, I can recommend this:

Antwone Fisher, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, had a very difficult start in life. He tells his story in the autobiographical Finding Fish (which was made into a movie, starring Denzel Washington, called “Antwone Fisher”). Fisher is also a poet. He has published some of his poems in a book entitled Who Will Cry for the Little Boy? This is the title poem of that book:

Who will cry for the little boy?
Lost and all alone.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Abandoned without his own?
Who will cry for the little boy?
He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He never had for keeps.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He walked the burning sand
Who will cry for the little boy?
The boy inside the man.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Who knows well hurt and pain
Who will cry for the little boy?
He died again and again.
Who will cry for the little boy?
A good boy he tried to be
Who will cry for the little boy?
Who cries inside of me.

(Fisher captures why we do what we do)

Thanks for the awesome job you undertake caring for our tamariki.  Your ideas are important to us – please come along and share a cuppa with us.

Angela Swinney
Phone 960 1417 or


Term Two workshops are now live, so make sure you register.  Check out this link for dates and locations. See you there.



Share this Post