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Minister for Children Anne Tolley says that events are being held all around New Zealand this Sunday to celebrate Children’s Day, as Foster Care Awareness week gets under way.

“Sunday will mark the 17th annual Children’s Day, as we celebrate our youngest New Zealanders,” says Mrs Tolley.

“This is all about spending time with our children, having fun, praising and encouraging them, and focusing on giving them the opportunity to thrive.”

“Sunday also sees the start of Foster Care Awareness week, as we acknowledge the crucial work that these fantastic people do in our communities.

“We have over 3,600 foster carers in this country who have opened their hearts and their homes to almost 4,500 children and young people, who through no fault of their own are in care.

“These current foster carers, and those who will join us in the years ahead, will play an integral part in the overhaul of care and protection each and every day under the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, and as we raise the age of care and support.

“But we need to do more than just appreciate caregivers. As part of the overhaul we have pledged to provide intensive targeted support for foster carers including some increased financial assistance and better access to support services, and we are working on this at the moment.

“The new care and protection system will be completely child-centred. It also requires loving adults to provide the safe and stable homes that vulnerable children deserve, and I want to thank all of the caregivers for the difference they make in young people’s lives.”

www.childrensday.org.nz

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