Lower South News – February 2020

Lower South RC
Barbara McElligott
03 928 5122 or
027 501 0391

Happy New Year / Hari Tau Hou,

It’s February already!  I hope you all managed to get some well-earned rest and relaxation in over the Christmas period. I know it can be a bag of mixed blessings. Its lovely to spend time with our whanau/families, and the pace of life is slower, however, filling school holiday days can be rather challenging sometimes!  These next couple of weeks of getting back into school routines, new classes, new schools, new teachers, new friend groups is like walking on egg shells as we see how our kids react to all of this can be very challenging on caregivers.

March Celebrations

The start of March is a very important time in the care sector in New Zealand. Sunday 1st March, we kick off the Foster Care Awareness week with Children’s Day.  This is a day to celebrate the importance of tamariki/children in our lives, in our communities and in our society.  Children’s Day reminds all of New Zealand how precious our tamariki are and how we all have a responsibility for them collectively.

Following on from the Sunday celebrations, we have Foster Care Awareness Week.  This is a week to highlight the wonderful role you all play in our communities and society too!  It’s a time through all the challenges, to say this role is so vital, important and lifesaving! I know there will be various events planned for this week across Aotearoa. Get in touch with your Agency or Organisation to see what they’re planning. Make sure you are on our Facebook pages so you can get notifications of events we know about. This important week is a time of acknowledging and appreciating the challenging and rewarding role you and your whanau /family undertake. 

Excellence in Foster Care Awards: Friday 6th March 2020

To round out Foster Care Awareness Week, we will be celebrating the winners of the Excellence in Foster Care Awards! This year it will be held in Wellington. These amazing recipients will be announced closer to the date.

One-off School Start Up Fund

School and year start up fund applications are open until the 28th February for those receiving the Unsupported Child’s Benefit or the Orphans’ Benefit. Make sure you apply for this one-off grant of between $400 – $550 (depending on the child’s age). Click on button below to find out more.


Self-care is important at any time of the year. Often the transition back into the school term is a challenging time for us as our tamariki adapt back into routines. Their internal fears of new teachers, new classrooms, new friends and new expectations can create turmoil that is expressed through behaviour. Acceptance and empathetic environments are the most effective ways to a stress-free beginning to the school day. Parenting tamariki with special needs, developmental trauma and/ or challenging behaviour is undeniably stressful. If you get a chance to read our article, then please take it. If you don’t get a chance, try and create an opportunity to do so as sometimes we just have to stop, make a cuppa and do something for ourselves.

Support Groups

My sincere thank you to the people who keep the local support groups going. Remember how important peer support is. Contact the support group near you to see what is happening…

Please contact the following people for Support Groups in your area:

Invercargill: Rose Rhind 027 497 0132
Woodlands: Barbara Henry 027 436 9371
Gore: Leanne Hallam 027 223 2962
Te Anau: Jane McHardy 027 693 1616
Alexandra: Gilly Darbey (03) 447 4077
Queenstown: Barbara McElligott 027 501 0391


Our Term One training schedule is now live! We are very excited to introduce a new 3 hour Workshop Discussion Session – Understanding the National Care Standards. Click the button below to find out more and to register.

Closed Facebook Group

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on coffee group and support group times and places. Please, please remember to reach out to your friends and supports in times of need.

Click the link below to join!

Fostering Kids NZ Lower South Support Closed Facebook Group

Kia kaha kia maia kia manawanui – Thanks for being strong, steadfast and willing.

Barbara McElligott


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