Northam event acknowledges foster carers

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Wanslea Foster Care youth worker Kevin Giles at Bernard Park before the Community Carers Day in the Park started on November 2.

Wanslea Foster Care youth worker Kevin Giles at Bernard Park before the Community Carers Day in the Park started on November 2.

An event was held in Northam recently, to acknowledge and celebrate the work that foster carers do for children and teenagers in the Wheatbelt.

The event was a joint initiative hosted by Cross-Roads West (Salvation Army) and Wanslea Foster Care.

Youth workers Kevin Giles and Charmaine Walley started the Community Carers Day in the Park by introducing relevant parties.

The organisations involved included Salvation Army, Crossroads West WA, Avon Youth, Northam GP Network, Northam Shire, Northam PCYC, Avivo, Freshstart and Woolworths. 

Following the introduction, Northam man Vincent Ryder said a Welcome to Country.

Wanslea Foster Care youth worker Kevin Giles said the day was about just acknowledging the good work that carers in the community do but also raising awareness of the services available to the community.

People thought it was great. We had about 200 people from the community come down

Kevin Giles

“It’s about bringing all services and the community together to share their stories of success and highlight what services are doing what,” Mr Giles said. 

“People thought it was great. We had about 200 people from the community come down.”

Mr Giles said the event provided an opportunity for people in the carers industry to network. 

“We had a few of the agencies that work together in this area hold games and activites,” Mr Giles said. 

Mr Giles said there are a lot of Aboriginal children in foster care.

”We work with kids in State care,” Mr Giles said. “I work with kids 16 and up, helping them find employment and accommodation.

“Making sure they are safe. “We are not going to send them somewhere that's not safe.”

Australian Institute of Family Studies data revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were almost seven times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be the subject of substantiated reports of harm.

The resource sheet said the reasons for this are complex and are connected to past policies and the legacy of colonisation.