Nes is a long-term carer for eight-year-old Toby* and relishes her role, encouraging others to consider opening up their homes and hearts to a young person.
"I'm very lucky to be a part of such an amazing thing we are doing," she said. "Fostering isn't a job; it's giving a life to those young children who haven't had a chance to see how beautiful the world is."
Foster Care Week (also known as Foster and Kinship Care Week) honours the extraordinary work of people such as Nes - foster, relative and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents who bring stability to the children and young people in their care.
Carers and their families are uniting this week to mark the occasion in various ways and locations throughout NSW.
Foster Care Week also raises awareness of the need for more carers. With more than 15,000 children in NSW unable to live safely with their families, finding more safe and nurturing homes is key.
"Every day, dedicated foster and kinship carers are making a difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people across the state," said Kate Washington, MP, NSW Minister for Families and Communities.
"When vulnerable children need security and stability, foster and kinship carers step up to help them see brighter futures. There can be no greater investment in our future than giving a child a loving and safe place to call home."
There are various agencies and programs within the state that provide foster care services, such as government-funded My Forever Family NSW. It supports, trains and advocates for foster and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents, arranging out-of-home care that brings stability to the lives of vulnerable children and young people.
There can be no greater investment in our future, than giving a child a loving and safe place to call home.- Kate Washington, MP
"We are honoured to be celebrating the incredible carer families in NSW who step up and provide safe, nurturing homes for children," said Renée Carter, CEO of Adopt Change, which operates the My Forever Family NSW program.
"Carers play a crucial role in providing security and warmth to a child when they are at their most vulnerable. During Foster and Kinship Care Week celebrations, we'd love to see more community members who are considering becoming a carer to reach out and take the next steps. There are different types of care to suit your availability. You could be the special carer to make a difference in a child's life through providing the stability that comes from having a safe place to sleep, space to play and support to learn."
Children in NSW require carers for all types of care, from part-time and emergency care through to long-term care options. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and there are different types of care to suit individual and family circumstances. Every carer home has the unique opportunity to make a lasting, positive difference in a young person's life.
* Name changed to protect their identity.