GOVERNMENT DOUBLES DOWN WITH $1.6M ON FOSTER CARER RECRUITMENT

The Andrews Labor Government will invest a further $1.6 million to continue a successful recruitment campaign to attract more foster carers to help children in out-of-home care.

Last year the Labor Government brought together all 26 foster care agencies under a common strategy to recruit more foster carers. This campaign includes digital, print and radio advertising beginning in late January, supported by a new website and centralised inquiry line with greater capacity to respond to enquiries from potential carers.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the funding would continue the successful Fostering Connections campaign run by peak agency body The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, which has been in increasing awareness of foster care in the community and interest in becoming a foster carer.

The agency reported more than 400 new foster care home accreditations in 2016.

Since advertising began, there have been over 2600 enquiries to foster carer agencies – more than tripling the number received in a comparable period the previous year.

The campaign highlights that carers don’t need to be superheroes – everyday Victorians from all walks of life can open their hearts and homes to make a big difference for vulnerable children and young people.

The foster care recruitment initiative is part of the Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children policy rollout.

The Government has provided significant investment in foster care including a $31.4 million boost to carer payments – the biggest allowance increase in a decade; $3.2 million to boost the number of carers and $19.2 million to improve training, assistance and financial support for carers.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer visit www.fosteringconnections.com.au or call 1800 013 088.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Every child deserves and needs a loving family – foster carers are the unsung heroes of our community, opening their hearts and homes to some of our most vulnerable children.”

“The 2016 campaign results are very pleasing, but we need more foster carers to come forward.”

“After years of neglect by the previous Liberal Government, we are getting on with increasing the safety of children.”

Quotes attributable to CEO Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Deb Tsorbaris

“We welcome this investment in foster carers. More Victorians are thinking about foster care every day.”

“This funding will help us respond to the growth in foster care inquiries over the past year.”