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Wanslea Foster Care is a community based fostering agency in Perth, Western Australia. Wanslea Foster Care is committed to high quality care for children and excellence in support of foster carers.
Wanslea Family Services was founded in 1943 by Florence Hummerston, a proud West Australian who worked tirelessly for the community. It had its origins in the Women’s Australian National Service (WANS) War fund, which was established in 1941 with Mrs Hummerston as the Foundation President. The WANS group established a home in Perth where children of servicemen whose wives were ill could be cared for to let their mothers rest and recover.
After the war, when the WANS ceased their duties, a Wanslea Hostel Committee was formed to continue the service offered by the home. Mrs Hummerston was again the foundation president. Eventually, the official title of the committee was changed to Wanslea Hostel for Children of Sick Mothers Inc. The main objective of the organisation was ‘to maintain a home for children when their mothers are sick or in hospital and in cases where a mother urgently needs a rest or a change’.
Today, Wanslea continues to provide a valuable service to more than 1500 West Australian children and their families every year. To find out more about Wanslea’s range of children and family services, visit the Wanslea website.
Foster care is temporary or long-term care for children who are unable to live with their birth families because of abuse, neglect, parental illness, domestic violence or other reasons that impact on parenting. A foster carer takes on a parental role to these children and provides love, security and understanding in a safe environment.
Foster carers can be married, same sex couples, gay or lesbian, single, separated, divorced or living with a partner. They can be working parents or homemakers. If you are 21 or older and have enough room in your heart and home, you can apply to become a foster carer.
There are 5 different types of Foster Care:
Wanslea offer emergency, short break, temporary (up to 2 years) and permanent (orders until 18) foster care arrangements.
Emergency foster care, where carers commit to a minimum of 7 to 21 days to provide stability for a child when they first enter into care.
Short break care is provided to children who are already placed with foster carers, but get extra support during regular short breaks (1 night, a weekend or a school holiday break). Short break carers are part of the child’s regular network of support and contribute to their stability in care.
Temporary care is time limited (up to 2 years) and allows the Department of Communities to work with parents and family to address the issues that saw the child enter care, so that they can be reunited with their family. A child is always best placed with their family and temporary carers can provide a safe and nurturing home environment whilst this occurs.
Permanent care arrangements are a long-term commitment. Children who are placed on Protection Orders (Until 18), require an alternative place to live. The child will remain having contact with parents and their family even if they are on long-term orders. It is important that carers who provide permanent care are able and willing to keep a child connected to their culture throughout their time in care.
Specialised Foster Care is for children who have high developmental and behavioural needs. Children on specialised fostering orders will require a high level of commitment and skill by the carer.
Why are children in care?
Children in foster care range in age from infants through to 18 years of age. They come from a variety of different backgrounds and ethnic groups. Children normally come into care because of abuse, neglect, parental illness, family violence, drug and alcohol use or mental health issues. Children in care have often suffered trauma and foster carers help them to heal from their difficult start to life.
Some children require special care because of physical or behavioural issues, but they all need love, affection and guidance. Children may need to stay in care for a very short period of time, or for a number of months or years.
Wanslea Foster Care offers carers:
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