Jewish foster carers needed for Jewish children

July 4, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Every child has a right to a safe, happy and permanent home and usually the best place for them is with their family..but this isn’t always possible.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel

Foster carers provide a safe environment for vulnerable children and young people in out-of-home care by including them into their own family and home.

Sydney’s Jewish House has had reported unfortunate experiences of seeing Jewish children removed from their families and fostered to non-Jewish carers.  Jewish House’s mission is to produce a database of Jewish carers who have been through the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services [FACS] vetting system and can be called upon when these situations arise.

Jewish House CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel told J-Wire: “We believe that maintaining a Jewish identity and remaining part of the Jewish community is not only beneficial to the child in the long run, but it is important for our community and Yiddishkeit in general.

We are appealing to the community to consider their circumstances and where possible offer their assistance.  We ask you to come to an information evening where you can learn about foster caring, the prerequisites of qualifying to become foster carers, the pros and the cons.”

Jewish House is holding a recruitment drive to find Jewish Foster parents on Tuesday, 25 July at 6.30pm at 17 Flood St, Bondi.

Rabbi Kastel added: “Each foster carer brings different skills, qualities and family circumstances. All carers are provided with information and training and are assessed and authorised to provide foster care.

Being a foster carer is an opportunity to help a child or young person who has experienced difficult circumstances. This may be through supporting them while they wait to be returned to their parent’s care, or by providing a caring, safe and stable home for them to grow up in.”

One foster carer said: “Our lives have changed for the better since we started being foster carers. Friends often tell us that our foster children are blessed to be in our care, but we think we are the ones who are blessed to have them in our home and family.” 

The duration of foster caring depends on the carer and on the individual needs and circumstances of a child. They include emergency, respite, short-term, long-term or permanent care.

Opening a home to a child or young person in need of care and protection is a big decision and foster care is a commitment that can bring many rewards. No one denies it is a challenge, but all agree that the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

The main quality that makes an effective foster carer is to have a genuine interest and focus on the child’s wellbeing and future. Other strong attributes include empathy and good listening skills, perseverance and resilience, a sense of humour and a willingness to support the child to develop a sense of identity that may include their culture, language and religion, and connection to community.

Anyone can apply to become a foster carer as long as they are over 21 years of age, an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and in good physical and emotional health without a medical condition that may affect their ability to care for a child or young person.

Foster carers come from all walks of life. They can be single, married, or in a same sex or de facto relationship; tenants or home owners; working or not working, or a parent already.

For more information please contact: Rabbi Mendel Kastel – 0413-098-250


One Response to “Jewish foster carers needed for Jewish children”
  1. denise weiss says:

    I live in Melbourne. I have been a foster carer in the past. Do you need them here too?

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