During Foster Care Week, we are focusing on the #SaveFosterCare campaign, a collaboration between Berry Street and the Foster Care Association of Victoria. We are working together in the lead up to the State election to save the foster care system. We are calling on the State Government and the Opposition to increase reimbursement rates for carers.
Foster carers willingly open their hearts and their homes to thousands of Victorian children and young people. They deserve to be supported.
More and more foster carers are leaving the system each year due to the financial stress. The gap between reimbursements to foster households and the actual costs associated with caring for foster children continues to widen, placing significant stress on families.
- 616 foster carers left the Victorian system in the last year, while only 442 new carers could be recruited. It’s the third year in a row the Victorian system has lost more foster carers than it’s gained.
- Foster carers in Victoria still receive the lowest reimbursements in Australia, estimated to be over $5,000 less than it costs to care for a ten year old every year. This financial stress leaves many carers struggling to continue.
- At the same time, reports to Child Protection are increasing and many more vulnerable young children are being placed into Residential Care. Residential Care is an extremely important service but is not the right option for every child, particularly very young children who would benefit more from a home environment.
The financial cost of fostering is deterring as many as 60% of potential foster carers.
Berry Street and FCAV are calling on the State Government to increase reimbursements to carers, and provide them with a simple, fair system.
The time to act is now.
Visit www.savefostercare.org.au to voice your support and help vulnerable children.
Spread the word and help the #SaveFosterCare campaign create change!
Post written by: Skye Doyle, Media & Communications Officer, Berry Street