Meet Miriam, Ivan and Freya. The trio is among a cast of faces fronting a new campaign to encourage people to become foster carers.

Launched by Centacare Catholic Family Services, the campaign puts children at the heart of a `circle of care’, and highlights the role of foster families in giving them safe and loving homes.

Seventeen fictitious characters including carers, children and even a pet dog form a ring to symbolise Centacare’s child-focused practice, and the care team that wraps around each foster family to train and support them on every step of their journey.

The characters and their backstories are introduced in a special exhibition which opens on Monday (March 1) at the Department for Child Protection gallery in Flinders St.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers, and the different types of care that households can provide to help children like Jamie.

“We really wanted to represent key themes of why children may come into care, as well as what motivates people in community to put their hand up and join our team as foster carers,’’ Centacare Foster Care Manager Amalie Mannik said.

The characters were illustrated by Quisk web designer Denham Haynes, who worked closely with Centacare to develop their traits and back stories.

“Storytelling is a powerful medium and resonates with people from all different backgrounds and cultures,’’ Amalie said.

“Stories are not only tools we can use for training and learning, they can also be very healing and we hope our circle of care enables stories to come to the forefront. “

Centacare Foster Care provides immediate, short-term, long-term and respite care for children from birth until adulthood. The process of becoming a foster carer can take between three to five months from application through to approval.

To join Centacare’s circle of care, please phone 8159 1400 or email fostercareenquiries@centacare.org.au