Fifty more families needed
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
MANDY Jones' mission is to give children a safe home.
So much so that she is on the search for foster carers in the Gladstone region.
As the regional manager for Anglicare, she wants more people to put their hands up to become a foster carer.
"At the moment we have just under 50 foster carers in Gladstone,'' Ms Jones said.
'We need double that at least.'
The state government has launched a campaign to recruit more foster carers for our vulnerable children.
The Minister for Child Safety Mike Reynolds said the situation was urgent.
Ms Jones agreed, stating that at the moment they had 48 general carers responsible for 99 fostered children.
'We are a very affluent community so maybe people are not aware of what is going on in our region.
'We need to look at what's going on in our community and make it our responsibility. We have had a huge increase in the numbers of children needing to be placed in foster care.
'And we believe the reason for this is that people are less accepting of seeing young children hurt. Child protection is everyone's business.'
Ms Jones said they wanted quality people to care for children.
'The job of a carer requires special talents. Children who come into care are often damaged.
'How do we deal with their grief and their loss? Often these children present with challenging behaviours because of the trauma they have endured.
'Foster carers need to be able to know how to welcome these children into their homes and assist them on their life journey.'
Ms Jones said the boost in funding from the Department of Child Safety would go a long way towards assisting foster carers to look after the region's vulnerable children.