Meet some of the people behind VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai

In the latest episode of our online radio show – ‘The Carecast’ – we meet some of the people behind VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai – a new connection and advocacy service for care experienced children and young people. Our communications advisor Alistair Wilkinson compiled the report. Here’s what he found: Saturday the First of April 2017 saw the launch of …

Voices of the care experienced.

As part of the launch of VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai – some of the care experienced young people involved have been sharing their stories. Here is what Renne said about her childhood – and what she’s doing now. Tupua will be a familiar face to those of you who were at conference in 2016 – where he got a standing …

How we’re advocating on your behalf

Our team at National Office is committed to providing a strong voice for you within Government. What follows is a list of the key ways we are working with officials in the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, to ensure your needs are met. We’ve also provided a summary of progress we’re making on your remits (resolutions proposed by …

Fostering Kids NZ welcomes launch of Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki

MEDIA RELEASE 31 March 2017 Fostering Kids NZ welcomes launch of Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki  CEO Linda Surtees pledges to continue working with the new organisation to ensure caregivers have the tools they need to support our most vulnerable children. The Chief Executive Officer of Fostering Kids NZ, Linda Surtees, welcomes the launch of the Ministry for Vulnerable …

A beginner’s guide to the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki

April 1 2017 marked a turning point for everyone in New Zealand’s caregiving community. Child, Youth and Family was replaced by the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. The changes have been hotly debated – both in Parliament and the community. But everyone agrees, we need to do something to help improve the lives of our most vulnerable children. …

Linda’s message about the caregiving changes

Linda Surtees, CEO of Fostering Kids NZ, says the new system must honour the need for children to have stable homes. On April 1st, we entered a new chapter in New Zealand’s caregiving community. Child, Youth and Family was replaced by the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, as part of Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s sweeping reforms of …

Caring for a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Are you caring for a child or young person who you suspect has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Dosorder, or one who has been diagnosed? In this episode of our online radio show The Carecast – we discuss how brain injuries caused by exposure to alcohol on the womb have a lasting impact – and what we can all do to help. …

Congratulations to Pauline and Bob Cox

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards recipients. Pauline made the trip to Government House to collect the award on behalf of husband Bob, who couldn’t travel because of ill-health. Pauline and Bob have been providing foster care in Canterbury for 18 years. In that time they’ve cared for more than 80 children. Social workers say Pauline and Bob are both …

Congratulations to Ann and Ron Giles

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients. Invercargill couple Ann and Ron Giles have been caring for children and young people for around 45 years. Friends and colleagues in the caregiving world say they have an uncanny ability to connect with those they care for. With a combination of unconditional love and clear boundaries, then have succeeded in breaking the …

Congratulations to Sally and Reece McChlery

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients Sally and Reece have welcomed children of all ages into their family and busy household for 13 years. Well known and respected in the Queenstown Lakes community, their story was recently featured here. Always there when needed – they’ve often responded at very short notice to take children in, no matter what their …

Celebration to remember for 2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards recipients

Wellington put on a magnificent day for the recipients of the 2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards. Caregivers flew from as far afield as Invercargill and Orewa to be acknowledged by Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM, QSO. The day started with a tour of Parliament, followed by lunch at the famous Backbencher Pub. Then it was back …

Congratulations to Pat Ede

Pat Ede and her huband David have been working with Youth Horizons in Manukau for 11 years – making them one of the organisation’s most experienced couples. Support workers say Pat and David are universally liked by those who stay with them. Young people feel they have a cheerleader in Pat – and the couple’s approach helps bring about meaningful …

Congratulations to Tapaeru and William Houia

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients. Children who arrive at the Family Home Tip and Bill run are soon made to feel comfortable by their friendly and happy manner. They learn that their needs come first and quickly settle in. Known for their ability to connect with teenagers, Tip and Bill are adept at managing some of their most …

Congratulations to Sally Mowbray-Lee and Brian Lee

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients. Sally Mowbray-Lee says after 26 years of fostering her and Brian were really ‘chuffed’ to be acknowledged. Strong advocates for children in their care, Sally and Brian devote time to each child’s educational, sporting and other interests, as well as helping them stay in touch with those who support and mentor them. Sally …

Congratulations to Sharon and Gary Richardson

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients. There was no shortage of people ready to come forward and say why Sharon and Gary deserve an award. They’ve been described as “simply phenomenal in every way,” for their outstanding foster care, and all they do to mentor and support foster carers needing respite, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and as ambassadors for Barnardos. …

Congratulations to Yasser El Shall

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipient. Yasser El Shall, his wife and their children made the decision to start fostering five years ago. “First and foremost, you have to have the support of your family,” he says. Yasser says he got into fostering almost by chance, when a neighbour asked him if he’d be interested. But soon it became …

Congratulations to Dennis and Lauren Rei

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Award recipients.   Dennis and Lauren Rei have been family home caregivers in New Plymouth since 2014. Tireless advocates for the children and young people in their care – Dennis and Lauren always go the extra mile, sometimes quite literally, driving hundreds of kilometres to help the children and young people who are transitioning. Dennis …

Congratulations to Rose Bennett

2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards recipient. Rose Bennett says she’s always had a passion for children – and knew in her heart she could make a difference to their lives. She first became a foster mother in the 1980s. Then, after a break, she signed up again in 2009. Since then she’s fostered more than 60 children and young …

The political debate over caregiving

As you probably know, it is election year. And that means debate in Parliament has stepped up a notch. If you don’t follow the news you may not have heard – there’s currently a battle going on over changes to the laws that protect children and young people in care. Recently, Radio New Zealand compiled a report on this issue …