Lifting Children Out of Vulnerability

A significant donation from a very kind-hearted woman will enable around 70 caregivers to participate in the Foundations for Attachment course, a much needed caregiver trauma informed therapeutic support programme adopted by Fostering Kids New Zealand.

Verity, as she wishes to be known, has always cared deeply about underprivileged children. After studying economics at university she went on to work for Treasury, producing several reports on the health sector.

Leaving Treasury to have her first child, Verity fully intended to return to her economist role but soon realised her heart was no longer in it.  “Although economics had its place, I had witnessed the inequalities and unfairness that existed in the world and wanted to help those who were struggling”, she said.

Verity went on to support people with intellectual impairments and assisted thousands through her advocacy work in the health sector.

She discovered Fostering Kids New Zealand after asking a local school teacher about the biggest challenges that school children faced today. Children who were left traumatised after suffering from abuse and neglect at the hands of those who should be protecting them was one such challenge she was told about.

Verity understood how the programme could be life-changing for children and young people growing up in foster or whanau care after hearing about how Foundations for Attachment focuses on healing the children in care. “My wish is to lift children out of vulnerability and create real change for our country’s most disadvantaged children and young people”, she said. She added “I hope Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children, will get behind this initiative too as more needs to be done”.

In acknowledging Verity’s substantial donation, Fostering Kids New Zealand’s CEO Linda Surtees said “The Foundation for Attachment programme will help to create more stable foster and whānau home placements, and therefore minimise the number of placements a child has. Although some moves are unavoidable, doing everything we can to create stable, loving homes is crucial. Verity will help to create better long-term outcomes for children and young people in care and we are immensely grateful for her help and support”.

A Foundations for Attachment programme has recently been delivered in the Lower Hutt region and the evaluations substantiate placement stability. Before the programme only 34% of participants had never considered handing a child back, but after the programme 82% said they would never give up on the child. All participants agreed this training should be available to all those caring for children.

Foundations for Attachment workshops are being held in New Plymouth, Tauranga, Christchurch, Whangarei and Dunedin between August 2018 and March 2019.

We will let our members know shortly when and how to be part of this exciting opportunity. Verity’s gift will fund whānau/kin caregivers, including grandparents raising grandchildren, permanent caregivers, and those who wouldn’t normally receive the support of an agency.

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