During Foster Care Week 2016, the Andrews Labor Government is calling on carers from diverse backgrounds to open their hearts and homes to children and young people in need.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today met with some of the first carers to be recruited through the Government’s Fostering Connections advertising campaign, which has seen a near tripling in the number of people being referred to foster care agencies.
With more than 1200 referrals since the campaign kicked off in January, Ms Mikakos met with newly accredited carers at Melbourne’s OzChild headquarters today including a same sex couple.
The couple represents the diversity of carers that the campaign can attract, proving that there are people from many walks of life who can provide home-based care to vulnerable children and young people.
Children in care come from a range of cultural, social and economic backgrounds, and there is great diversity in the caring community as well, providing a culture of safety.
There is a pressing need for more diversity in the pool of carers – in particular carers in same-sex relationships, single carers, sole parent carers, carers that work part time or full time, Aboriginal carers and carers that come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
While the numbers of active foster carers in Victoria providing support across emergency, short term, respite and long term placements is increasing, there continues to be a shortfall.
The more carers there are, the lighter the load on individual carers, while also helping reduce the number of children in residential care.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We want more Victorians from all kinds of backgrounds to open their hearts and homes to children in need – if you’ve ever thought about becoming a foster carer, now is the time.”
“You don’t need to be a superhero, you just need to have an open mind and a loving home.”
“Our Fostering Connections Campaign has been hugely successful – but we still need more dedicated people to open their hearts and homes to children in need.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020