Knoll thanks foster carers

Stephan Knoll MP, Member for Schubert recently spoke in Parliament to support the Statutes Amendment (Rights of Foster Parents and Guardians) Bill 2015. Liberal Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick recently re-introduced the Private Member’s Bill. The Bill, known as Finn’s Law, would give foster parents the option to be recognised on a death certificate if a child dies in their care and also give them the chance to be involved in funeral arrangements. The current legislation states that only the biological parents are provided with the rights of the child including details such as reason for passing and funeral arrangements.

“Being a foster carer is extremely difficult. We need to do more to support them. They are valuable, and this is an opportunity for us to show that they are valuable, and I do not think that we can let this opportunity go,” said Mr Knoll.

“Helen Lockwood and the team from Lutheran Community Care are fantastic. Lutheran Community Care has approximately 35 carers in the Barossa, ranging from Gawler to Nuriootpa, and they have 60 to 70 kids in care in the Barossa Valley, of whom two are Indigenous. However, there are no Indigenous carers. Lutheran Community Care organises that carers have regular support groups so that they can look to each other to deal with the challenges together, and Lutheran Community Care has two support workers who support these carers in what they do.

“In my maiden speech, I talked about community spirit and community-based service delivery as being a great model for service delivery of these types of services across the state. Lutheran Community Care was definitely one of the organisations I had in my mind when I made those statements.

“There are a number of other foster care agencies that cover the Barossa, from the Aboriginal Family Support Services to Anglicare SA and UnitingCare Wesley, and I would like to thank them, too, for the work they do in my electorate.

“I understand that it is difficult, and that it is hard and often heartbreaking, but it is beautiful to see that there are people in a community willing to give of themselves in this way.”