Giving the gift of family

GROWING up in a big family, Amanda Rebetzke knows what it’s like to feel safe and loved.

It’s why she decided to become a foster carer.

During National Families Week, which runs from May 15 to 21, Ms Rebetzke is urging others to make a difference in a child’s life.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Amanda Rebetzke, with her nephew Douglas, Rebetzke, 3, is encouraging other locals to consider becoming a foster carer.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Amanda Rebetzke, with her nephew Douglas, Rebetzke, 3, is encouraging other locals to consider becoming a foster carer.

In the Western region of NSW there is urgent need for families to provide care for eight to 15 year olds.

Ms Rebetzke has been a foster carer for eight years and currently cares long-term for two children and is providing emergency care for another.

“In December it will be eight years since I started,” she said.

“Over that time I’ve had around 30 children.

“Two of the children’s mum was a friend of mine and she was having a tough time. 

“She rang me and said ‘come and get them, I’ve had enough’. I admire her strength for asking for help, it would have been the hardest thing to do. From then on I realised what a difference a foster carer can make.”

Ms Rebetzke admitted foster care wasn’t always an easy job, however she described it “very rewarding”.

“It’s wonderful when you see the kids thrive in a stable environment,” she said.

“I’m one of nine kids and I had a really good childhood.

“I have only happy memories and I want to give them what I experienced when I was little. 

“I’m lucky because I have good support from my family and the support network they provide at CareSouth. 

“If you think foster care is something you’d like to do, I’d suggest trying respite first to see if you like it.” 

CareSouth is encouraging people in the Griffith area who might be interested in becoming a foster carer to visit the Griffith office, at 102 Yambill Street 

For more information about becoming a foster carer, go to www.everydaycaresouth.org.au or call 1300 554 260 for an obligation-free chat.

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