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Foster care offers hope for young people

A stable, secure and loving home is vital for children to grow and develop to their best potential. Sadly, this isn’t the reality for many young people in our community. Thanks to the dedication of foster carers, such as those who work with Uniting Communities, these children are being given a bright new start with caring families.

Mary* has been a carer for eight years and, along with her husband, is a foster parent to 10-year-old Jack*, who lives with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disability. She says that while there have been challenges, the benefits for Jack are obvious.

‘It always takes a child time to settle in to a new environment,’ says Mary. ‘Jack had had various care arrangements for two years already, so was quite unhappy at first and acting out a lot.

‘It’s now been seven months, but we feel like Jack is calmer, more settled and often tells us how much he loves being part of our family. You can see he’s happy to be here. And we love him like he’s our own.’

Uniting Communities finds foster care accommodation for children and young people living with disability, and supports foster carers as they welcome children into their homes.

Chris Dolman, Service Manager for the program, says that foster carers are everyday people who are committed to helping children.

Foster carers are giving young people a place to call home Welcome to Kat Haywood

Uniting Communities is pleased to welcome Kat Haywood to the newly created role of Partnerships Manager.

Working in the Marketing, Fundraising and Communications team, Kat will focus on developing and delivering specific fundraising programs to connect Uniting Communities with the broader South Australian corporate and business community. She will also be working on promoting Lifeline Adelaide Workplace Training programs to workplaces around the state.

Kat joins us from a diverse career in business development, sponsorship management and philanthropy, most recently with the Adelaide Festival.

She can be contacted on 08 8202 5656 or via email at KatHaywood@ for any queries about Lifeline Workplace Training or to discuss partnership opportunities.

4 Kat Haywood

‘Many children in the program have experienced adverse circumstances such as abuse or neglect, or the sickness or death of a birth parent,’ he says. ‘Living in a carer’s home offers them the chance to enjoy all the richness that family life can provide.’

Mary adds that, while the child’s wellbeing and stability is most important, carers themselves can also enjoy the benefits of fostering a young person.

‘It has been so special for us to form a strong bond with Jack,’ Mary says. ‘One of the most wonderful things you can do is offer a young person a second chance. It’s very rewarding to think that you’re helping to give them the best shot possible in life.’

If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about foster care for children or young people with a disability, please contact 08 8202 5190.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.

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