Foster carers deserve recognition and support
Foster carers deserve the support and recognition of the whole community, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony said today.
Mr Anthony addressed the third Face to Face Forum in Adelaide this week. The Forum brings together foster carers, non-government organisations, Government representatives and importantly, youth who have been in care.
“This Easter, I encourage all Australians to recognise the important role foster carers undertake. They are a very special group of people who voluntarily do an extraordinary job caring for children and young people in our community.
“Foster carers give generously of their time and efforts. They stretch their family circle to encompass someone else’s child or children and provide them with care, safety and support.
“Children usually come into foster care during a very difficult time in their young lives. Some of the children placed with foster carers, because of their history, will have complex problems that most Australians find hard understand.
“Around 17,000 Australian children who have been abused or neglected are in out-of-home care. Over the last four years, the number rose by almost 3,000.
“I think it is important that Australians understand and acknowledge the enormous contribution foster carers are providing to our community. By providing a caring and loving environment – just maybe we can keep these kids from heading down a destructive path when they leave care.
“The Coalition Government has improved assistance to foster carers by removing the
12 month waiting period for Parenting Payment for single foster carers.
“We also extended eligibility for the Health Care Card to foster carers who receive Family Allowance providing the foster child was eligible for a Card when they were with their original family.
“Families Australia, a new federally funded peak body, will also further the interests of families, young people and children in Australia.
“However, the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments need to do more collaborative work to ensure better support for foster carers,” Mr Anthony said.