Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents 76 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
"ME AND MY DAD didn't
get on, I don't know why,
but it began to affect my
whole life," says Joseph,
26. "According to him the
reason it was all going
wrong was because I lived
in the house, so I had to
go. Apparently after that,
everything was fine with
him and the rest of my
At the time Joseph was just 13, and the
situation at home became so bad that through
intervention prompted by his school, it was clear
Joseph was going to have to be cared for by
Surprisingly perhaps, to Joseph it didn't seem
like a "tough time".
"I was more worried about where I was going
to sleep from night to night than the fact that I
wasn't living at home anymore. It was hard, the
not knowing on a daily basis of where I'd be in
During the first two months of being taken
into care, Joseph was shuttled between four or
five foster homes, often spending hours sitting in an
agency's office as case workers struggled to find him
a bed for the night.
Short-term solutions were clearly not doing him
any favours, and his previously good grades began
to slip at school.
"I had to keep going to the same school too, and
sometimes it would take me an hour and a half on
the train to get there each morning, with no money
for my fare, and nobody to ask for help. Because I
was only with foster families for short bursts, they
couldn't give me the money, and I didn't have it, so
what was I to do?"
Then Stephan Lund and Anglicare, a foster
agency with the Church of England, entered his life
and it all changed for the better.
"From the start Stephan talked to me all the time
about my situation and really understood what I
needed and what problems I had to be sorted out."
Stephan placed Joseph with a foster family, a
placement which lasted for nearly two and a half
years and gave the growing teen at last some sense
of belonging and security.
"I was lucky because I had shown at school that
I was a good student, getting good grades before
I had to leave home which is why I think they were
willing to help me get back on track."
Being a teenage boy made it harder for
Joseph, because when he got into trouble, he
would have to move on again. Having an empa-
thetic case worker on his side however made a
huge difference to Joseph's outlook, and turned
his life around.
Now Joseph is happily living with his girlfriend
in South Australia, working as an electrical engi-
neer and with a rosy future ahead of him.
"I'd say fostering made me more self-reliant
and independent than I might have been other-
wise. I've been to Uni, travelled overseas and now
can't wait to have children of my own eventually.
"I came to terms with my relationship with my
father a long time ago, I've tried to understand
what happened but sometimes there just aren't
For Joseph, although he didn't necessarily
discuss the fact that he was a foster child at the
time with his friends, it's not something he hides
"Most of my friends know my situation and
I would say in no way has the fact that I was
fostered held me back. I'm just like any other
The slogan used by Foodbank, a not-for-profit,
non-denominational organisation with a strong
community focus is a simple one: An Australia
Without Hunger. It might also seem, to some,
unnecessary. But many West Australians are unable
to feed themselves and their families day after
day and it is estimated that a million Australian
children regularly do not have enough to eat,
many going to bed hungry or to school without
This all stands in stark contrast to the fact
that tonnes of perfectly edible food are discarded
every day by the major supermarket chains. This
is where Foodbank steps in, channelling this
untapped resource to the needy by redistributing
it to welfare agencies. Foodbank acts as a conduit
between the food and grocery industry s donations
and the welfare sectors needs. More than 2200
welfare agencies rely on Foodbank as their pantry,
helping stretch their dollars further and helping
those on their books most in need. Last year Food-
bank distributed more than 17 million kilos of
donated food and groceries, making about 23 mil-
lion meals, helping feed 60,000 people every day.
Foodbank s target for 2013 is 50 million kilograms
of donated food.
To donate food, time or money or to find out more
about Foodbank WA go to foodbankwa.org.au.
COFFEE CUP COUNSELLING
There are those of us who have a natural ability
to listen and offer advice, and there are those who
may need a little help to develop their sympathetic
muscle. For those people, a useful little book,
Coffee Cup Counselling, is just the ticket. Written
by former Anglican clergyman David Woodroffe,
its tips on how to help friends through the power
of listening empathetically makes a simple catch
up over a cuppa more of an effective informal
FEEDING THE MASSES: Foodbank's
'money' is food and it is distributed to
those who need it without any charge.
counselling session. Recommended by many
charitable organisations, such as Anglicare and
The Samaritans, the book has chapters on dealing
with a grief-stricken friend, helping the elderly and
listening to a friend going through a bad patch in
their relationships. sm
BINDARING RED CROSS
Look out for the 47th Annual Bindaring Clothing
Sale and Auction, which will be held on Satur-
day, May 22. This annual event is the longest
running and most successful one-day fundrais-
ing event for the Australian Red Cross.
Long a Mecca for budget-consious fashionistas,
the tables have thousands of wonderful new
and pre-loved men's, women's and children's
clothing items and accessories. The day
includes a jumble sale where everything is sold
for $10 or under, a "Bindaring Boutique" where
designer labels can be found at a fraction of the
usual price, a designer fashion parade and auc-
tion, as well as a vintage clothing boutique with
hidden treasures from Hermes to Christian Dior.
All proceeds from the day help to fund Red
Cross Community Service programs.
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