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Local Foster Carer, Maureen Wilkins was today announced the recipient of the Deb Elsley Memorial Award by Veritas House as part of their Foster Care Week celebrations.  

The award acknowledges the significant contribution that Maureen has made as a Foster Carer for the past 14 years, and in providing a safe and supportive home environment for the past nine years to two young siblings who she refers to as her own and who she has assisted alongside her biological child to grow and develop in a happy and healthy way. 

According to House Permanency Support Program Operations Manager, Toneya Carr-Smith, Maureen’s advocacy for equal opportunities for all children, including children with disabilities, and her advice to other local foster carers on navigating the disability sector has positively impacted the broader carer network.  

“Maureen is an exceptional carer who is actively involved in regularly connecting her foster children with their birth parents and paternal grandparents and is raising all of her children to be their best versions of themselves,” said Toneya.  

“While working at Veritas it has been my privilege to get to know many carers and there is no question that Maureen embodies the Veritas values of collaboration, authenticity and relationships, and is thoroughly deserving of this award.” 

The Award was presented at one of two Veritas House Foster Care Week Awards ceremonies held in Bathurst and Orange, and which also saw nine Foster Carers presented with 5, 10, 15 and 20 year service awards acknowledging their dedication and contribution to children and young people. The Foster Care Week ceremonies coincide with the launch of the biggest advertising campaign ever conducted by Veritas House urging residents to consider becoming Foster Carers, featuring advertising on buses, in shopping centres and on billboards across the region. 

Anyone considering becoming a foster carer must be over 18, an Australian citizen or permanent resident, in good health and without a criminal record. Carers can be single, married, in a de-facto or in a same sex relationship.   

For more information on becoming a Foster Carer with Veritas House, call 6332 3882 or visit