SSI News Blog

Celebrating cultural connections

SSI was proud to sponsor the Children’s Festival, held in Circular Quay on March 15.

The theme for 2015 was “Playing Together and Living in Harmony”, and Fleet Park in Circular Quay was brought to life with a mix of colourful clothes, cultural performances and the big smiles of many children and families.

The Children’s Festival is a day of celebrating multiculturalism for children and families in Australia by sharing, learning and exploring the culturally diverse city of Sydney.

SSI was represented on the day by its Multicultural Foster Care Service (MFCS).

The MFCS provides foster carers and casework support for children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Currently the MFCS supports 120 children in out-of-home care.

Where possible, children are matched with foster carers from the same background as them. If this is not possible, a cultural care plan is put into place.

SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said that SSI had long recognised the need for a culturally appropriate model of out-of-home care services for CALD children and young people.

“We believe that if CALD children in out-of-home care know about, and have connections with, their cultural heritage, these connections play an important role in identity, development and sense of belonging,” Ms Roumeliotis said

“It can take many forms and includes being supported to learn about and participate in their culture, community, language and religion.

Tari Mapfumo is the MFCS Foster Carer Recruitment and Training Coordinator, and accepted a certificate of appreciation at the festival.

Ms Mapfumo said the MFCS stall attracted a lot of interest and enquiries about foster care.

“Foster carers come from all walks of life and can provide short or long term care, or even respite and emergency care which might be as short as 24 hours,” Ms Mapfumo said.

“The one thing they have in common, though, is the desire to provide a stable and safe home environment for the children in their care.”

Follow the link to the website for more information about SSI’s Multicultural Foster Care Service.

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