15 December 2020

To our wonderful carers.

Image: Carly Jacobitz

Carly Jacobitz, Director, Child Youth and Family - Queensland

What an extraordinary year to be a foster or kinship carer! We know, as carers, you have always gone above and beyond, but this year has demonstrated the extent of your commitment and dedication to each of the children and young people in your care.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thanks for supporting home schooling, COVID tests, extra hygiene measures and the sometimes-difficult conversations to best explain a pandemic to little people, who know something is different in their world.

While the Christmas period is fabulous for most families, we know that some children and young people struggle so please reach out to your local team and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you and your family through this period.

I hope you are all able to take some time to relax over the coming month and reflect on what has been both a challenging but rewarding year.

Bianca Moerman, A/Deputy Director, Child Youth and Family - Queensland

“The best things in life are not things…they are moments.” – Partho Mandal

As we head into this time of year, I just want to reflect on 2020. It has been a year full of challenges and a year we will never forget. We learnt to ‘virtually’ communicate, and we all had to find a way to balance working from home, home schooling, being away from loved ones, staying in our homes and, for some people, the loss of income and security.

I would like to thank you, our dedicated and motivated foster and kinship carers and your families, for all the hard work and commitment you have undertaken during this most challenging of years.

I have been reflecting on how much you have achieved, and risen to the challenges, to keep our children and young people safe during this time; to nurture and care for them when the world was so uncertain. You have provided our children and young people with special moments and memories during these times.

Thank you for all you do and for your care and understanding during a difficult year. I hope this festive season brings you joy and some relaxing time with friends and families and I look forward to working with you in 2021.

Sarah Galbraith, Regional Director, Child, Youth and Family - South Queensland

I have worked at Life Without Barriers for 9 years in a variety of roles and locations, and I am delighted to have moved into the role of Regional Director for Southern Queensland since June 2020, taking the role on permanently in November.

And what a year 2020 has been! There have certainly been some challenges in the face of a pandemic and all the changes that has brought. I would like to extend my thanks to you for the support you have shown to our children and young people throughout this.

We have also had so many good news stories come out of this year, including many children reunified to their families , school enrolments and graduations, some incredible health outcomes and sibling groups who have had the opportunity to be reunified into the same placement, just to name a few.

Approaching the busy holiday season, I hope you find some time over the break to relax and connect with family, friends and loved ones. Christmas time can be a very exciting, but also a challenging time for some of our young people.

Thank you for opening your hearts and homes to provide a sense of belonging and stability for the children in your care. I look forward to working alongside you in 2021.

Teena Ingram, Regional Director, Child, Youth and Family - Queensland North

I recently started working at Life Without Barriers as the Regional Director for Child Youth and Family, Queensland North, and I would like to wish all of you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

The team and I are so grateful for the tireless work you do supporting children and young people in out of home care. Without you, there would be hundreds of children who have experienced significant trauma, without a safe place to call home.

In the north (from Gladstone up), we have unique challenges. And while COVID-19 has certainly impacted how we have been able to support you, you have been remarkable through these challenging months. You have kept our children and young people safe despite everything going on around you.

Christmas can be a tough time for children who cannot live with, or perhaps even have much contact with, their families. You know this better than anyone. Thank you for welcoming them into your families and giving them the stability, security, safety and love they so deserve and need.

Please know that I and our team value all you do. Hopefully, as restrictions continue to ease, I will be able to meet and thank you in person during 2021.

I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful Christmas.

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