Grand opening of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning Maitland office

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning will celebrate in style the opening of its new office in Maitland next Tuesday 23 April. Bishop Bill Wright of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will officially open and bless the building and the Hon. Pru Goward MP, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women, will be the keynote speaker.


A highlight of the opening will be an address by CatholicCare carer and NSW Mother of the Year 2012, Caroline Fowles. Mrs Fowles will speak about the many benefits of being a foster carer. “The positives and the relentless joy we experience as carers make us realise we’re the lucky ones,” Mrs Fowles said. Mrs Fowles will also speak about the support she receives from the CatholicCare team and the benefits of having the new office in Maitland. “The CatholicCare staff are there for you 24/7 when you need support, but also allow you the freedom to parent. To have a base in Maitland will be fantastic in terms of the support CatholicCare can give the children and families in this region,” she said.


Operations Manager, Out of Home Care (OOHC) Program, Kathryn Puckeridge, says the opening will mark a new chapter in CatholicCare’s presence in the Maitland region. “Our new office will provide foster care, adoption, supported independent living and youth counselling services, with the possibility of extending services in the future. This will allow us to provide a more holistic approach to social services in the Maitland region,” Ms Puckeridge said.


Ms Puckeridge believes that the new facilities in Maitland will provide an excellent base for the staff of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning and the carer families of the region. “I can say unreservedly that the staff are truly motivated by meeting the needs of children. They are passionate about the kids in care and want the best for carer families. Our new facilities in Maitland are an excellent outlet for the staff to continue CatholicCare’s long history in the Newcastle and Hunter regions and a great meeting place for the children in care and their carer families,” she said.


The final guest speaker at the opening will be a young woman in care who has benefited greatly from CatholicCare’s unique Supported Independent Living (SIL) program that assists 16-17 year olds not suited to foster care to live independently. Minister Goward is a strong champion of the government’s Youth Private Rental Scheme and this young woman will soon benefit from this subsidy scheme. CatholicCare is on the partners board of the Scheme and is excited to see the results of this reform in action.


The Acting Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning, Ms Jennifer Smith, the Mayor of Maitland, Mr Peter Blackmore and the Director, Child and Family Central Coast Department of Family and Community Services, Ms Margaret Piper, members of the Catholic Diocese’s leadership team, members of the Transition Project Office and carers, children in care and CatholicCare staff will also be in attendance.


There will be entertainment for children as well as morning tea and lunch served by staff and children in care.


What: Grand opening of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning’s new office in Maitland

When: Tuesday 23 April 2013 10.30am – 12.30pm

Where: 2/212 High Street, Maitland


For all media enquiries, please contact Communications Officer, Jo Isaac, on 0419 263 901.


Please note: No filming or photography of children will be allowed at the opening in accordance with current legislation.