Currently, NSW needs to find 300 foster carers to help with the immediate care of children or young people.
Finding Foster Carers
We had an idea on how best to support Non Government Organisations (NGOs) find foster cares to meet the rising needs of children in OOHC. Our team set out to provide information sessions to local communities to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers.
Caring with Carers have succeeded with our mission and have presented two information evenings in the last few months. A combined total of 27 potential carers attended with 7 applicants in the process to assessment so far. This week we will be following up from our latest information session in the Illawarra.
We are thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait for the busy calendar of 2020!
Thank you to everyone who has supported us with these sessions.
Read below some great articles written by the Illawarra Mercury and the Parents Guide Illawarra.
Now, more than ever, we need foster carers. In Australia, we have 47,915 children and young people in Out of Home Care (foster care) according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018). The Illawarra region is in desperate need of foster carers. It can be incredibly daunting for a child to leave their family home, even if it’s not a safe home.
Approved foster carers are able to keep our most vulnerable children and young people within their own communities. They can keep them engaged in their usual schools and help them maintain their existing friends, hobbies and sports. With more local carers, the impact of being removed from their home can be minimised.
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a foster carer, but don’t think you can commit to long-term care, please don’t be deterred; there are many types of foster carers needed. Some of the care types also include respite, restoration and emergency care. New carers often start with respite care as a way of learning how to care for a foster child and slowly introducing themselves and their family to foster care.
Many people would like to become foster carers, but don’t think they can financially support another person, which is a legitimate consideration. To help cover the cost of caring for a child or young person, all foster carers are paid a carer allowance (this amount varies between agencies).
The process of becoming a foster carer can be overwhelming, however, Caring with Carers can take you through each step and help you help your community. They can also assist you to find the right care type and agency to best suit you and your family dynamics. You will need to undergo a foster carer assessment and attend specific training; this process can take between eight weeks and three months. Becoming a foster carer is a big commitment, so the assessment and training process gives carer applicants plenty of time and information to truly consider if foster care will suit them and their family.
If you would like to know more about the application and assessment process and ask questions of industry professionals, please come along to Caring with Carers foster care information session.
This will be held on Thursday, October 24 at 6pm at Woonona Bulli RSL, 455-459 Princes Highway, Woonona.
For more information or to register your interest, please contact Shannon Kendrick on 0452 282 698 or [email protected]
You can also find Caring with Carers on Facebook (caringwithcarers), Instagram (caring_with_carers) and the web (caringwithcarers.com.au)
Parents Guide Illawarra
As parents ourselves, we only ever want to keep our children safe, secure and happy. The vulnerability and innocence of a baby or child is one we feel compelled to protect and nurture. Yet, as this is being written, our Illawarra children and young people are at risk. We have a crisis in NSW as 47,000 children across NSW require urgent foster care and there is an immediate need for 350 foster carers.
Due to the shortage of foster carers in our Illawarra community, children are being forced to move away from their community and leave behind all that is local and familiar to them. They are losing everything.
Despite the best efforts of many dedicated foster carers based outside the Illawarra who take our local kids in, the huge upheaval for the child creates even more disadvantage. Every day, Illawarra children are being uprooted and lose their local daycare, schools, church, soccer clubs, friends and all they know in their community. We do not have enough local, Illawarra and Wollongong based foster carers to keep our children cared for within our own local community. This is a heart wrenching and very local problem that not enough of us know about, yet there is a solution.
There are many misconceptions about fostering and foster care, so we spoke to the credible source of Shannon Kendrick, Director of Caring with Carers, to get an honest and wider understanding of what fostering is and who can do it. Caring With Carers are also inviting the local Illawarra community to attend their FREE Foster Care Information Session to find out more about how you can help. Caring with Carers is dedicated to training, assessing and supporting foster carers in the Illawarra and beyond. To enquire about becoming a foster carer in Wollongong or the Illawarra, you can contact them on 0452 282 698 email [email protected]
Here are more details for anyone who can offer a safe, secure, warm home for a local baby, infant, toddler or child/young person in desperate need of immediate / short term permanent care.
- Anyone over 21 years of age can apply to become a foster carer.
- You are guided through the foster application process with Caring with Carers, who of course ensure anyone applying is checked for their suitability, so every child requiring care can be safe.
- Through Caring with Carers, you attend the appropriate training, can access 24/7 support and you are matched to the right foster agencies based on your unique situation and location (so you don’t have to choose which foster agency is right for you).
- There are different types of foster carers desperately needed in the Illawarra, starting from respite care (around one weekend a month), to shorter term care through to permanent care.
- You can specify the age of the child you would be most comfortable to care for and who would fit best with your current family dynamic.
- You receive a substantial allowance to cover the cost of the child/ren in your foster care.
- Every effort is made to keep fostered siblings together.
- Once you have completed the assessment and training process, you will have a discussion as to when you are available to begin caring.
- Introducing another child or young person into your family undoubtedly has an impact on your family unit, however it can help cultivate a sense of care, compassion and appreciation in your own children, for the love and stability they have, and how this can be shared to other children in desperate need for it.
- Fostering can help break the cycle of disadvantage, you can make the difference in a world where the outcomes for children who don’t have stability, are bleak.
- Foster carers come from every walk of life. The key requirements are time, patience and an open heart, however the rewards for foster carers are significant. The fulfilment of knowing what a difference you have made, can be life changing.
- Fostering can be temporary, as working towards reunification of their birth family, is the best outcome for the child or young person. This can mean love and loss for foster carers, but always with the understanding that the best interest of the child comes first. However, it is not uncommon for foster care to turn into adoption in some cases.
Caring with Carers is not a foster agency, instead they work with many foster care agencies throughout NSW and specifically in the Illawarra to ensure that you as a potential foster carer, are supported trained, informed and are matched with local foster agencies who are the best fit for you.
If you would love to discover how you can make a difference to kids in need in your local community, make contact with Caring With Carers on 045 228 2698 or email [email protected] or come along to the upcoming community event to hear more.