The Andrews Labor Government is encouraging all Victorians to consider fostering a child, as part of a major advertising campaign that kicks off this week as part of Foster Care Week.
New advertising will feature real foster carers who are encouraging people to “Open your heart, open your homes”, by focusing on what makes the role of being a foster carer so unique and important.
It forms part of Fostering Connections, backed by a $3.1 million investment which sees a combined effort from all foster care agencies and since commencing in January 2016 more than 500 carers have opened their homes to vulnerable children.
It aims to generate interest from everyday Victorians from all walks of life including Aboriginal people, same-sex couples, single people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
From this week Victorians will see it through digital, social media and radio advertising, supported by a website and centralised inquiry line with greater capacity to respond to enquiries from potential carers.
It complements the Government’s work to increase the number of foster and kinship carers, with a $34.1 million commitment under the Roadmap for Reform.
The Government is also providing foster, kinship and permanent carers with training, financial and other supports to help meet the additional needs of children in their care.
An extra 100 Targeted Care Packages and nearly 2000 out-of-home care placements have been allocated in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to strengthen the home-based care system and reduce the number of children living in residential care.
Through the Government’s Targeted Care Package scheme, more than 400 children and young people have been prevented from entering or transitioned from residential care and into other care arrangements, including foster care.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We welcome and thank the more than 500 new foster carers who will provide loving homes for our most vulnerable children and young people – but we know more are needed.”
“Foster Care Week is an important opportunity to both educate the broader community about foster care, and celebrate the selflessness of our carers.”
“This new campaign not only highlights the valuable contribution that foster carers make, but the joy they receive in welcoming a child into their home.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020