Perth Airport fostering the spirit of giving this Christmas
While for most of us, Christmas is a joyful time spent celebrating with family and loved ones, more complex emotions are attached to the holiday season for more than 5,000 Western Australian children who are in foster care.
The Foster Carers Association of WA (FCAWA) said the number of children in care has continued to climb in recent years, as has the number of foster families which now totals just over 1,000.
Director Fay Alford said a lot of emotions bubble to the surface at Christmas.
“Christmas time for children in care can be particularly sad and a reminder that they’re not at home with their own families.
“And then for carers trying to provide a safe place for the children and a lot of love for them to thrive, Christmas can be very costly,” Ms Alford said.
“There are a lot of children unable to live with their biological parents, which means relying on the generosity of extended family or members of the public to care for them, and often it is beyond the means of a general subsidy for carers to buy Christmas gifts themselves.”
That’s where Perth Airport has stepped in. Every year, the Perth Airport team joins together to bring in presents for foster children which the Foster Carers Association distributes to families in the lead up to Christmas Day.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the Perth Airport team are keen to make sure the children don’t miss out at Christmas.
“We all know the joy of seeing kids wake up on Christmas morning to a present or two under the Christmas tree. These kids deserve no less.
“Hopefully these gifts will bring a smile to the kids’ faces and help them have a very merry Christmas,” Mr Brown said.
Kate Sinfield knows only too well the need there is in the community for families to foster children.
For the last five years, she and her family have fostered five children.
“Some of the children come for one or two nights and others stay for many years; it depends on the needs of the children and our availability.
“It can be hard being a foster parent as the children have experienced things our children just don’t, and they can be very upset about the way their lives have turned out,” Kate said.
“It’s very rewarding however being a foster carer and making a difference in these children’s lives; often the smallest things make such a big difference so whether we foster for a day or a year we can help these children in need.”
Fay Alford said the Christmas gifts from Perth Airport staff are generous and thoughtful.
“The generosity of Perth Airport helps to ensure we can help many of these families and children to bring them the joy of Christmas,” she said.
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