After working with MercyCare's Fostering Services team for just five months, Case worker Kelly Vickers was named Rising Star at the annual Children’s, Youth and Families Agencies Association WA awards on September 8 at Burswood On Swan. The night aims to acknowledge and reward the efforts of people working towards better outcomes for some of WA’s most vulnerable children.
Kelly has worked in MercyCare’s Out of Home Care Services since April. The team works with children and young people who are unable to live with their families, by supporting them with care and services, including fostering, family group care and early intervention.
Kelly was recognised for her commitment to the field of foster care and her special ability to connect with children and their carers, to understand their core needs.
Kelly said she was humbled by the award.
“I feel incredibly blessed to have received this award and would like to thank my dedicated team at MercyCare Fostering Services for all their support, guidance and passion. It is a pleasure to work with a team of people so inspired to help make a difference in the lives of children and young people in care”
MercyCare Fostering Services Coordinator Paul Everall said Kelly had brought compassion and insight to her work and her dedication was a beacon of excellence.
“Kelly has a presence and style which is warm, reflective and calm and lends itself to helping create safe spaces for children, carers and team members alike,” he said.
“In particular, she has been able to work with a large sibling group, who all have disability-based issues and require not only support from different service providers, but a case worker who is able to understand and respond to their developmental needs so they feel listened to and understood.”
MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Chris Hall said it took incredibly special people to work as foster care case workers.
“We congratulate Kelly on her outstanding achievement and her inspirational dedication to supporting foster carers, children and youth in WA,” Mr Hall said.
“Her passion and drive to work with children has no doubt made extraordinary differences to the lives of young people and carers.”
MercyCare Fostering Services has been operating for 26 years and works with young people who are unable to live with their families for a multitude of reasons including family illness, death, abuse, neglect or because families cannot raise children in a safe, caring and stable home.
The awards were attended by Mental Health and Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell, WA Children’s Commissioner Colin Petit, Department of Child Protection Chief Executive Officer Emma White and Fay Alford, Director of the Foster Carer Association of WA.