Kia ora koutou/Greetings everyone!
Children’s Day and Foster Care Awareness Week started the last month with a great focus. I hope the events in your area went well. “The Big Splash” at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua organised by Bay of Plenty Association was a fun filled day for all those who attended. Unlimited boat rides over and down the waterfall, then – SPLASH! A great adrenaline rush. There was lots of other wildlife to see also. Well done to the organisers!
Thankfully Cyclone Gita was a bit of a fizzer as was Hola – we had quite strong winds though. Hopefully that’s the end of them….
Excellence In Foster Care Awards: Congratulations Perry Bunao, Homes of Hope, Tauranga. Perry received the Excellence in Foster Care Award on Friday 9 March in Parliament, Wellington. We are proud of the work you and the other recipients do. There are many more of you out there who also deserve an award. The stable and loving home life you provide, while building connections, is the best gift ever to children in need.
Bruce Hopkins on the Te Araroa Trail: Bruce is on a 3000 km walking journey to Stewart Island/Rakiura to raise awareness for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and to challenge our MPs and new Prime Minister to better support the 4000 plus GRG member families throughout New Zealand.
Some statistics: There are 9500 kin/whanau and grandparents raising over 17000 children. This group of caregivers is raising around eight times the number of children in state foster care or other non-family care in New Zealand. Too many of them are repeatedly denied access to proper professional or financial supports and legal entitlements to help them in their important roles as caregivers of our next generation, our taonga (treasures).
(from GRG Feb newsletter).
Tricia Corin (who comes from Thames) is our local contact for this group and can be contacted through the GRG website or 0800GRANDS.
Papa Kainga Foster Care Support – In home monthly visits by ECE trained educators for under school age children. Contact Kathryn Hawkes email@example.com 0800 250 052 ext 3 to learn more about this wonderful service which is available in the Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo regions.
Bay of Plenty (Tauranga) Group:
Movie Fundraiser: This year the movie is the comedy “The Breaker Upperers” from the same producer as “Boy” and “Hunt For The Wilderpeople”. On Thursday 10 May at Rialto Cinemas, Tauranga. Nibbles & Spot Prizes from 7.00pm. Movie starts at 8.00pm. Tickets $20. Bookings essential! Get in quick! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org text/call 021 1982 302
Tauranga Grandparents Raising Grandchildren meet on the first Friday of each month. Contact Karen 07 579 3571 or email email@example.com for more information.
Support Group for all types of caregivers on the first Friday of each month, 10.00am till 12 midday at the Hillier Centre, 31 Gloucester Rd, Mt Maunganui. Come and share a cuppa, receive support and awhi (treasure) each other in the wonderful work you do.
Last month the Caregiver Social Worker Team from Oranga Tamariki joined us and answered some prepared questions. We all benefited from their knowledge and suggestions. There was special sharing of the joys and difficulties of fostering. We look forward to the team joining us again in a few months’ time for an informal mix and mingle.
On Friday 6 April the Labour MP Jan Tinetti has been invited to attend the support group meeting. Jan was Principal of Merivale Primary School in Greerton and has first-hand knowledge of children in care and children being raised by grandparents or whanau. Come along and meet Jan, she is interested in the care sector.
Email Elissa for more info firstname.lastname@example.org
or cell 021 462 030
Forever Families is a support group for Permanent Caregivers or those interested in Permanency. They meet monthly according to interest.
Email Laura email@example.com
Email Belinda firstname.lastname@example.org cell: 027 241 1775 for support, information and get togethers.
Email Wendy email@example.com cell: 027 462 7356 for support and get togethers.
Grandparents raising Grandchildren, Te Puke meet on the first Monday of each month excluding school and public holidays at The Hub, Jocelyn St, TE PUKE. 10.30am – 12.30pm.
Contact Win 028 402 1794
Grans Raising Grandies, Te Puke will be holding regular get togethers on the first Tuesday of each month. Those interested please ring Win Macreadie on 028 402 1794. Win is taking over from Ruth as coordinator for a few months.
Importance of Play: Last month I delivered this workshop for the first time, in Rotorua. Thanks to those who attended. Together we worked through why play is so important and how play is therapeutic. With their feedback (always appreciated) I have tweaked a few areas in readiness for the next workshop.
The Term Two training schedule will be open for registration in early April. You will receive an email link to the new calendar, once it has been released. Please check our training calendar once it’s available and be sure to register for the other workshops offered – Teamwork in Tokoroa and Taupo in May and Working With Adolescents in Tauranga in May. I look forward to meeting you there!
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