DO you have what it takes to volunteer a few hours every fortnight to enrich the lives of south-west children?
MacKillop Family Services are looking for people who can volunteer their time with young people in foster care.
Volunteer recruitment and development worker Michael Hoffman said the organisation was piloting a mentoring program which aimed to connect children with supportive adults in the community who could engage with them through shared hobbies, interests or job skills.
"We are looking at matching a small number of our young people in foster care up to the age of 18," Mr Hoffman said.
"We are looking for them to engage with a mentor for about two hours a fortnight for about four months for the pilot program. Hopefully it will extend into the future. Many of these children are impacted by trauma. Most are now in stable, loving and nurturing foster homes, but many of them don't have family connections to fall back on. They need additional connections to the community and positive role models and someone they can just hang with."
MacKillop's career recruitment and development coordinator Tania Ferris said the program would provide plenty of positives for children in care.
"The kids within child protection have a lot of people who are paid to be within their lives," she said.
"I think the strength behind the volunteer program is that these children will get to know that the people they are matched up with are there just for them. It's all about them. I don't think we realise the impact we can make on a young person's life by showing interest and just being there for them."
She said the mentoring program was flexible and anyone could be a mentor.
"We can potentially match children up in workplaces, they can go out on weekends and other times," she said.
Mr Hoffman said they weren't worried about the age of people, they just wanted to match up foster children with people who had shared interests.
He said volunteer a had told him the satisfaction she had got from volunteering was "worth more than any pay check you will get anywhere".
Glenthompson artist Alyshia Bensch has volunteered with MacKillop.
"I was so inspired by the kids and their resilience and ability to adapt," she said.
"It was great to find joy in the little things with foster kids."
If you are interested in becoming a mentor please contact Michael on 0429 174 742 or visit MacKillop's website to complete a volunteer form.
Prospective volunteer mentors will be matched with foster children based upon mutual skills and interests. They will be provided with training, ongoing support and specific guidance.
This pilot program will run until December 2019.