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Meet our Burdekin Foster Carer Team

How to foster in NSW

Monthly information sessions and local pop up events

Each month, our team hold information sessions about being a Burdekin Foster Carer. At the session we will take interested potential carers through all the information and answer questions. Please register your interest or share this post with somebody who might be keen. Here are our monthly dates.

In addition to monthly sessions we are popping up at local events – you might have seen us recently at the Marrickville Justice Fair and the Marrickville Organic Markets – thanks to those of you who dropped by and said hi. We will keep you posted about future events as it is a great opportunity to find out some information, pick up a flyer and chat to a real person about what is involved in being a Foster Carer.

Have you ever considered becoming a foster carer?

You may have considered fostering a child in the past and have been hesitant for many reasons. Common reasons that hold people back might be:

  • Concerns about disruptions to your life/ your children’s life
  • Concerns about it being too challenging
  • Concerns about not having the right skills or personality
  • You might be worried about the behavioural challenges of a child who has suffered trauma
  • You might be concerned about relations with the biological family
  • You might be worried about becoming too attached/not attached
  • You might worried that you won’t be able to stick it out or will want to quit

Our team knows this – they know how you feel, they have been there too.

Considerations

  • Talking about becoming a foster carer doesn’t mean that you have to go through with it
  • Attending information sessions doesn’t mean that you have to go through with it
  • You can start off slow – with emergency or respite care
  • Becoming a Burdekin Foster Carer is different to other types of foster care because you have a whole team of support behind you to work with you and the child or young person

Our team are ready to support you through your initial inquiries with no expectations.

Contact us

For more information about becoming a Carer please contact our Carer Support Coordinators:

Phone: 02 8976 1777
Emailcarer@burdekin.org.au

Sarah Inner West | Michelle Northern Beaches

You might like to check out our information pages: Become a Burdekin Foster Carer and Burdekin Foster Carer FAQs.

What our clients say – a snapshot.

Hear what our young people have to say

During the pandemic we undertook a client survey to find out how the young people in our care are doing – what is going well and what is going not so well – in our continuous strive to better meet their needs.

Data for the client survey was collected over a period of 3 months via an online survey platform. The survey team comprised of volunteers Amy, Bec and Caitlin, headed by Burdekin employee and Volunteer Manager Jill.

The opportunity to participate in the survey was offered to all clients in Burdekin’s housing programs, Out of Home Care and Youth Housing, and in both the Inner West and Northern Beaches regions.

The survey was conducted primarily during the difficult period of Sydney’s lengthy COVID-19 lockdown. This presented the opportunity to undertake a “pulse check” on the state of service delivery during this challenging time on top of the purpose of the survey to gather vital client feedback to inform future decision-making and get a clear understanding of how well we are doing as a service provider.

This is the survey – Shoutback, we asked, they answered.

Have you ever thought about becoming a Burdekin Foster Carer?

Have you ever thought about becoming a foster carer?

Being a Carer with The Burdekin Association is different from the traditional foster care programs.

We are a community-based non-profit organisation offering foster care to young people in need. Fostering can be undertaken in many ways, in your own home or a rent-free Burdekin property for you and the young person. Singles, couples and families are ALL welcome!  

Are you ready?

Do you want to take the next step and make a difference to a child’s life?  For more information, call one of our carer support staff on 02 8976 1777 or email carer@burdekin.org.au.

Check out what Burdekin Foster Carers and young people in care have to say.

Have a listen to what Beth and Ange have to say about being Foster Carers with Burdekin. Beth and Ange.

Have a listen to what a difference having a caring home made to CJ. CJ

Have a listen to what being Foster Carers has meant to Jill and Tom. Jill and Tom.

Please visit our Carer pages to find out more – Becoming a Foster Carer and Live-in Foster Carer FAQ’s.

Learn more about being a foster carer, hear real stories about what it is like to be a foster carer with us

At The Burdekin Association we know many teenagers are in need of a safe, secure, nurturing home and that many people won’t consider fostering teenagers because of negative misconceptions about them.  

Fostering a teenager provides young people with a consistent, nurturing, adult role model at a vital time in their life, allowing them to build up necessary steps to independence.

You do not need to have had your own teenagers or have had experience with teenagers. What you do need to have is an open heart to support young people who need to be loved and protected.

Keeping siblings together in foster care is vital to keep their close bond and connection rather than being split up. Burdekin currently have young teenage siblings who urgently need carers available to offer them a safe and nurturing home. 

Have you ever considered becoming a foster carer?

Lisa* is a kind, thoughtful 11-year-old girl with loads of energy, looking for a loving home in the Inner West of Sydney. Lisa loves gymnastics, dancing and has recently shown a lot of interest in AFL. Lisa will be making the transition to high school next year and may need help getting to and from her new school. Lisa loves school but sometimes needs some support with her homework. She loves structure and routine and goes to bed at the same time every night.  Lisa is an amazing chef – her favourite things to make are smoothies and cupcakes.
*Image and name has been changed to protect child’s identity.

Foster carers needed Inner West, Northern Sydney, Eastern Suburbs and South East Sydney - can you help?

Ricky* is a caring, funny, smart 12-year-old boy who is full of energy and is hoping for a warm and loving home in the Inner West of Sydney. Ricky* absolutely loves NRL and has recently taken a huge interest in his fitness – going to the local park for running and circuit training. He has recently learnt to follow recipes and cooks up a storm. Ricky* takes so much pride in his bedroom. Ricky* enjoys school and sometimes will need some support with his assignments. Ricky* responds positively to a structured but fun environment.
*Image and name have been changed to protect child’s identity.

We are looking for individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, who are single or in a relationship – all are welcome and encouraged to become foster carers.

Don’t forget, if you would like more information call one of our carer support staff on 02 8976 1777, email carer@burdekin.org.au or visit our website to find out more – Becoming a Foster Carer and Live-in Foster Carer FAQ’s.

Resources – things to do in self-isolation

Keep busy with these resources during lockdown

This resources list, is part of our stay healthy and well during Covid-19 series. You can view the other posts in the series here:

Sleep – Our Best Kept Health Secret

Covid-19 Health, Safety and Well-being Resources

Tips for Staying Healthy and Well

In an emergency call: 000

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Kids Help Line (5–25 years) – 1800 55 1800

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348

MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978

SANE Australia – 1800 18 7263

Out tips to stay healthy and well during self-isolation

Keeping physically and mentally active is key.

Here are some of our tips:

TED Talks – who doesn’t love a good TED Talk for motivation and inspiration?!

Headspace is a mindfulness app and your guide to a healthy, happy mind in just a few minutes each day.

Audible – no time to read a book? Instead listen to one as you workout, organise or relax – avail of their 30 day trial.

My Life – is a website to help you build emotional strength.

Patatap – try out this a portable animation and sound kit.

Coursera – take a free course in something that interests you.

Blifaloo – learn to tell when someone is lying (or telling the truth) with this body language resource.

Duolingo – says you can learn a new language in just a few minutes each day.

Documentary Heaven – a free documentary library.

Good Tricks – learn some magic tricks and impress friends!

Virtual Stage Tour – take a tour of some of the most impressive world stages.

Words With Friends – is an app to play word games with friends.

Draw Something – draw things that others have to guess.

Virtual Tour of The British Museum – the world’s largest indoor space on google street view – visit over 60 galleries.

Virtual Tour of The Louvre – fan of the Mona Lisa? Take a 360 degree tour of the galleries in The Louvre.

Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam – who doesn’t love cute pandas?

Workouts at home

keep your body moving
Stay active during lockdown
Staying active during isolation
Looking after your physical and mental health during isolation

Sleep – our best kept health secret

Keeping up routines and creating better habits during Covid

This article about sleep, is part of our stay healthy and well during Covid-19 series. You can view the other posts in the series here:

Covid-19 Health, Safety and Well-being Resources

Tips for Staying Healthy and Well

Resources – Things to do in Isolation

This article has been reproduced and was originally published by: https://positivepsychology.com/sleep-hygiene-tips/

In Why We Sleep, neuroscientist Matthew Walker (2018) suggests that if science announced a treatment that improved our memory, boosted our creativity, lowered food cravings, offered protection from cancer and dementia, and reduced the risk of heart disease, we would all be rushing to the doctor.

And yet, many of us are ignorant of the fact that good sleep offers us such benefits, for free.

Indeed, “not only does sleep disruption play a role in the declining mental abilities that typify Alzheimer’s disease, but getting enough sleep is one of the most important factors determining whether you will develop the condition in the future” (Walker, 2017).

It is important to note that, as with other conditions, sleep disruption is only one of several risk factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease; however, prioritizing sleep is one way to lower your risk.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Poor habits and unsuitable environments can make it tough to fall asleep and stay asleep.

According to the UK’s Sleep Council (2020), “you have no control over what happens when you sleep, but you can control what you do throughout the day to prepare for a better night’s sleep.”

So, can we learn to sleep better? According to research, yes.

Charles Czeisler from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard University says there are three points you need to consider: “how much you sleep, how well, and when,” impacted by the following factors (O’Callaghan, 2016):

Familiarity

When we sleep in unfamiliar places, one hemisphere of our brain remains active. This night watch has developed to keep us safe in uncertain environments.

Noises

Even if we are sleeping at home, noises can force us out of our deep sleep (a dog barking or a distant house alarm).

Temperature

Our body temperature can significantly affect the quality and quantity of our sleep. Surprisingly, special sleep suits that slightly warm the skin (or taking a hot bath before bed) help the body release heat, reduce the number of nighttime awakenings, and increase restorative slow-wave sleep.

Timing

Your circadian rhythm (tied to your mammalian biological clock) affects the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you get. Getting up too early means you miss out on later, longer REM sleep cycles.

Blue light

The light emitted from our phones and tablets when we use them late at night shifts our circadian rhythms. REM cycles start later, and we are less likely to reach extended REM sleep cycles.

According to Walker (2018), almost 10 million Americans per month take something to help them sleep. And yet, sleeping pills do not provide natural sleep, and they “can damage health, and increase the risk of life-threatening diseases” (Walker, 2018).

Sleeping pills work by knocking out higher regions of the brain’s cortex, resulting in a lack of the largest and deepest brainwaves. The result is a catalog of possible side effects during the day, including forgetfulness, daytime grogginess, and slowed reactions.

Where possible, therapists and mental health practitioners should promote good practices that result in a more natural night’s sleep (Walker, 2018).

There are several relatively straightforward habits and techniques, known as sleep hygiene practices, that promote a better night’s sleep (Walker, 2018; National Institute on Aging, 2020):

Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Aim for consistency when you go to bed and get up, even during the weekend.

Avoid napping in the late afternoon.

While it may be necessary for those with prolonged sleep deficits, for others, it can disrupt sleep.

Create a bedtime routine.

A soak in the bath, relaxing music, or a book before bedtime can set the scene for sleep.

Avoid phones, tablets, and TV immediately before bed.

The light from digital sources can damage your sleep and overstimulate your brain.

Find the right temperature.

Your bedroom should be neither too hot nor too cold, and where possible, quiet.

Lower the light.

Reduce the lighting as you prepare for bed.

Avoid late-night exercise.

Do not exercise in the three hours before going to sleep.

Avoid big meals late in the evening.

Eat earlier in the evening.

Time your caffeine.

Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda) can make it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Reduce alcohol consumption.

Contrary to what many of us think, alcohol negatively affects our sleep quality.

According to Walker (2018), if you only adopt one of the above good habits, make it “going to bed and waking up at the same time of day” no matter what.