Mercy Community is advancing the search for potential foster carers with the launch of The Thank You Project which acknowledges the positive impact foster carers have made on the lives of young people in care and shares stories of the richness the experience added to their family.
Opening your home and bringing a foster child into your family can be a very rewarding experience. Foster families don’t just keep children and young people safe and help them reach their full potential, they find that fostering can enhance their own parenting skills, developing new ways to relate to their own children.
Fritha Radyk, CEO of Mercy Community said, “The Thank You Project is our way of saying a huge thank you to our carers and all the carers across Australia. As a carer myself I know how hard it can be, but also how rewarding.”
Together with her husband Chris, Ms Radyk has been caring for just over four years – having opened their home to a then, two- and three-year-old, who are still with them – and have just signed on to take more children in a respite capacity. This gives her a unique perspective as both the CEO and a carer to be able to say Thank You.
While being a carer can be challenging, it can make a significant difference to the lives of vulnerable children and their families. Data from Queensland’s Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs shows that over 70% of children in care complete school with a certificate or qualification, and almost 95% of children reunified with their families remained safe.
At The Thank You Project, carers share their stories of unexpected, enriching experiences and a connection to community they found through caring.
Last year there were almost 15,000 children across Queensland receiving ongoing support from 6,038 carers. The number of children entering care was 2,934.
Foster care can change a child’s life whether it be short or long-term or provided for respite and when emergency care is needed.
For anyone over the age of 18 thinking about becoming a carer we encourage you to take the quick quiz on The Thank You Project’s website to find out if you are eligible.
Visit thankyouproject.org.au to hear our carers’ stories and to learn more about becoming a foster carer.
Mercy Community supports approximately 600 dedicated foster and kinship carers of more than 1,300 children and teenagers across Queensland.