Mackenzie loves being a sister. Sometimes it’s for one night, other times it’s for longer.
Each time has left a long-lasting positive effect on the 11-year-old, who has been a sister to 17 children and young people in her life.
Mackenzie is a foster sibling, and the experience of sharing a safe and loving home with those in need has had a profound impact on the grade six student.
She is a passionate advocate for BCYF’s Foster Care program, and wants to raise awareness of the critical need for more Foster Carers in the Geelong region.
In Victoria alone there are more than 10,000 children and young people in out of home care.
Mackenzie’s own experiences as a foster sibling have given her an insight not only into the important role foster care families can play in the lives of children and young people in need, but have also highlighted the positive impacts families can receive in return.
“Being a foster sister has changed me, I’ve matured a lot, become a lot more independent,” Mackenzie says.
“There’s lots of kids out there that don’t have a safe home and sometimes, just somewhere to sleep and rest their head or some hugs when they need them can be really helpful.
“There’s always enough love to go around for everyone.”
“Becoming a Foster Carer is an amazing thing and anyone should and can do it.”
Mackenzie has also started making care packs for children entering foster care that include basic items such as toothbrushes and underwear.
In this unprecedented time, the family unit has become more important than ever.
Foster care provides this loving and safe family environment for children and young people who need it most.
Everyone in the Geelong region has had to adjust the way we live our day to day lives.
However, the fact remains that every week there are more children requiring care than there are available foster care homes.
“Families considering foster care can sometimes be concerned about the impact of bringing another child into their home might have on their family dynamic,” BCYF Acting Manager Out of Home Care, Jo Dumesny, says.
“Mackenzie’s experience as a foster sister shows how opening your home to a foster child can be an incredibly positive experience, for everyone involved.”
BCYF provides training and support for anyone interested in becoming involved in Foster Care, including for children of Foster Carers.
“If you are considering becoming a Foster Carer, get in touch with BCYF,” Ms Dumesny says.
“The experience can be life changing, for a child or young person in need, and for yourself.”
To find out more about foster care visit bcyf.org.au/foster-care/
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