Bendigo area foster carers thanked during Foster Care Week 2017

REWARDING: New foster carers Bianca Stapleton and Steven Boltz are among the carers thanked during this year's Foster Care Week. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

REWARDING: New foster carers Bianca Stapleton and Steven Boltz are among the carers thanked during this year's Foster Care Week. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Related: The need for more foster carers, our ‘unsung heroes’

The foster carers of the Bendigo area have been thanked for their commitment to improving the lives of children and young people at a special event.

About 40 people attended Anglicare Victoria’s lunch at Fortuna Villa on Tuesday, which was held to extend gratitude to the 87 foster carers currently active in the area as part of Foster Care Week.

Lilly Gleeson, Anglicare Victoria’s assessment and development team leader in Bendigo, said the lunch was not only a way to say thank you, but gave hard-working foster carers something special to enjoy.

“I think foster carers are often… the unsung heroes,” Ms Gleeson said.

Out-of-home care manager Michael Oerlemans said carers in this region had provided more than 39,000 days of care in the past financial year.

Bianca Stapleton, who with partner Steven Boltz began fostering in May, also praised Anglicare Victoria for its support.

“Anglicare’s been great, from the day we rang up,” Miss Stapleton said.

Twenty-seven foster care families that had been accredited over the past year received a special acknowledgement at Tuesday’s event.

The new foster carers have seen the number of carers in the area grow substantially, but workers in the field say there is always need for more.

The organisation receives, on average, about 30 requests for placement every month.

Ms Gleeson said the lunch also provided a good opportunity for Anglicare staff to meet carers, and for carers to meet one another.

Other community members and staff from other relevant agencies also attended the event.

Anglicare Victoria is the agency responsible for training foster carers and making placements of children in the Bendigo area.

Prospective foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds and family situations and can provide long-term, short-term, emergency or respite care to children.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can contact Anglicare Victoria on 5440 1100 or visit www.anglicarevic.org.au.

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