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 …

Save our 2017 Conference date!

We’re excited to share more details about our annual conference – coming up in September this year. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating Foster Care.’ We want to use the opportunity to acknowledge all that you do – while inspiring you with other stories of struggle and success. The conference will be held in Christchurch  – and we want to get as …

Foster Care Awareness Week – 5 – 11 March

March is always an important month on the Fostering Kids NZ calendar – not only do we have Children’s Day on March 5th – we also have Foster Care Awareness Week from 5 – 11 March. Foster Care Awareness Week provides an opportunity for us to share our stories and celebrate the everyday heroes in the community who provide extraordinary …

More peas please!

For Home for Life dad Russ, getting his 11 year old boy to eat vegetables can be a challenge, but not when he’s serving up this tasty dish!   Ingredients: 6 slices streaky bacon 1 small bunch fresh mint 100g Parmesan cheese sea salt freshly ground black pepper 1 chicken stock cube, optional 400g dried shell pasta olive oil 300g …

Celebrate Children’s Day – Sun 5th March

Children’s Day, Te Rā O Te Tamariki, is the annual opportunity for us to unite and celebrate the precious young people in our lives. The day has been celebrated here for more than ten years – it’s a chance to focus on the meaning of our relationships with our tamariki. You can find out what is happening in your neighbourhood here – …

Are you swimming between the flags?

As responsible caregivers, we always make sure our children swim between the flags, but how many of us are taking unnecessary risks in our own caring practice? We talk to Fostering Kids NZ staff about what caregivers need to do to keep everyone safe. Andeana Pilalis is the Critical Support Manager at Fostering Kids NZ. A big part of her …