Placement easy decision for foster family

Fostering kids with disabilities has its challenges but for Cathy and Terry Yates, it also comes with plenty of rewards.

The Dapto couple backed Fostering NSW’s call on the International Day for People with Disabilities yesterday for more foster parents to care for these children.

The organisation estimated that 450 new foster carers would be needed over the next year in NSW, with children with disabilities among the hardest to place.

For Mrs Yates, who has worked for many years with children and adults with disabilities, it was an easy decision. Along with her husband, she has fostered five children with disabilities over the past decade and is currently caring for an 11-year-old boy with autism.

‘‘I wanted to become a foster carer to give the person the quality of life they deserve,’’ she said. ‘‘And because they need a stable environment and a place to call home after the trauma of being removed from their biological families.

‘‘I also want to acknowledge their hidden talents and let them know and feel there’s someone that will listen, and that they are wanted and accepted.’’

Mrs Yates, a foster carer for the House With No Steps, said she always encouraged children in her care to become part of her family and the community.

‘‘I encourage them to join in sports of their choice and social activities, ones that enable them to make friends, be part of a team and improve their self-esteem,’’ she said. ‘‘To see them enjoy themselves in what they’re doing, that makes me happy and that’s my reward.’’ 

The Yates, who have two adult children, also have a 19-year-old foster son who has lived with them for 12 years.

‘‘To see our eldest [foster] son grow and become a man and be accepted for who he is is so rewarding,’’ Mrs Yates said.

She encouraged others to ‘‘open their hearts and their homes’’ to children with disabilities.

The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies is running the Fostering NSW campaign.

‘‘There are around 18,000 kids and young people in out-of-home care in NSW,’’  chief executive Andrew McCallum said. ‘‘A significant number of these children have some form of disability and benefit hugely from a stable and caring home environment.’’

Fostering NSW's disability campaign has a call to action for this purpose:

 To find out about becoming a foster carer in NSW visit the Fostering NSW website or call '1800 2 FOSTER' (1800 236 783).

Fostering NSW's disability campaign has a call to action for this purpose:

Fostering NSW's disability campaign has a call to action for this purpose:

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