John Guthrie has been a foster carer for 16 years. Picture: Carly Earl

Barnardos Canterbury has put out a call for foster carers for teenagers to address a shortage in NSW.

There are about 18,400 children and young people aged 0-18 without safe homes, according to figures provided by Barnardos.

John Guthrie, of St Peters, has been a foster carer for 16 years, taking in five ­children for long-term ­placements.

He and his partner decided to take on the role as a way of engaging with the community.

“There’s a certain stage in your life when you think, ‘how can I be involved in the community?’,” Mr Guthrie said.
Barnados Canterbury are calling for more foster carers in the area.

The process was “dead easy” and the rewards were many, he said.

“You meet a young person and they may be frightened, you know they’ve come from a bad background.”

But with structure, love and laughter came change, and witnessing that development was the most rewarding part of being a carer, Mr Guthrie said.

“It’s a pretty damn good thing to do,” Mr Guthrie said.

Visit fosterteen.org.au for more information.

(This article first appeared in the Canterbury-Bankstown Express and was written by Cindy Ngo.)