Foster carers’ dedication recognised with awards

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Families and carers from across the Pilbara gathered to celebrate foster carers and the love and support they provide for child-ren last week in honour of the State’s inaugural Foster Carers Week.

The Department of Child Protection and Family Support in the Pilbara hosted multiple events in Roeburne, Karratha and Port Hedland, and honoured the general foster carers of the year and the family foster carers of the year for 2016.

Getting involved in the foster care system and the Department of Child Protection and Family Support in 2008, winners of the general foster carers of the year title Matt and Heather Herwig said it was one of the most rewarding and positive experiences they had had.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster but it’s been positive,” Mrs Herwig said.

“We get a lot of support from the department and just seeing the impact we make on a child’s life is so rewarding.

“We have four kids of our own as well, so it’s actually been quite a positive experience for them as well, for them to feel like they have a part in impacting a young child’s life.” Mrs Herwig said she would highly recommend that anyone become a foster carer as they were always needed in an area such as the Pilbara.

Department placement officer Rachel Stevens said while awards were handed out, the dinner and Foster Carers Week was about all carers in the system.

“A lot of children we take into care experience a lot of trauma ... despite all the challenges they have as carers of the most vul-nerable children, what shines through is the absolute dedication that’s given to what they do,” she said.

The night also celebratedfamily foster carers of the year Harry and Cath McGrath.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit the department’s website at dcp.wa.gov.au.

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