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November 2013 News

Is there room in your life for one more child?

  • Written by  Nancy Thomas
Assistant Minister for Child Safety, Tanya Smith and Barbara and Bill Harris foster parents to over 200 Photo: Deryck Thomas

“I just want to be a somebody” was the sad comment of a little boy needing out-of-home care recently.

Speaking at the ‘Hope For Our Children’ event hosted by City Women in conjunction with Family Week, the Assistant Minister for Child Safety, Tanya Smith, said there are over 35,000 children in need of short or long-term foster care in our nation.

She also spoke of those who have found a family and identity through loving foster fathers and mothers.

“Robert, my foster dad for 11 years has taught me a lot of things I didn’t know,” said one young man. Another foster daughter commented, “My mum is amazing. I can’t think of anyone I look up to more in my life!”

Tanya said she was glad to be part of a government making Queensland a safe place for children.

Barbara Harris told of the challenges and rewards that she and her husband Bill had experienced in over 50 years of fostering more than 200 children. Now in their 70s, they still have three teenagers at home, who they have loved and cared for since they were babies.

Leanne Reinbott spoke of her 5 years of ministry in fostering children who have gained a wider family of grandparents, uncles, aunts and siblings. Her 15-year-old daughter, Madison, shared her experience of being a sibling to foster children, which has “made me a better person and been an enormous privilege.”

To learn more about fostering contact Mercy Family Services on 4617 7600 or visit www.mercyfamilyservices.org.au

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