The life of a child living in out-of- home care is often unpredictable and unstable. Good carers can be hard to find (not to mention retain) due to a lack of available funding and support. With over 45,000 children now living in out-of-home care in Australia, the need for a more sustainable and ‘simpler’ system has reached its peak.
Carers need more support. How can we expect to attract a capable and experienced workforce with no support framework in place to ensure the safe and secure delivery of care?
In Victoria, as of the 1 January 2016, the Labor Government has committed a $31.4 million funding boost (the biggest in a decade) to support the carers of vulnerable children. A much needed, simplified rate structure will see over 5,000 carers receive additional funds to help support ‘fair and consistent’ access to things like basic medical and education needs.
‘You don’t need to be a superhero’
This commitment is in response to the overwhelming need for more carers. With carer numbers decreasing each year in Australia, children in need of urgent care are being forced to live in less than ideal conditions or turned away all together.
Victoria’s Children’s Minister, Jenny Mikakos said Victoria needed foster carers from diverse backgrounds, such as same-sex couples, working families and retirees.
“You don’t need to be a superhero to be a foster carer,” she said.
“You just need to have an open mind and open home.”
The Safety & Stability for Vulnerable Children conference takes place on the 23rd & 24th of February in Melbourne. Book soon to secure your place!