Vulnerable children receive funding boost
This year’s NSW budget
This year’s budget was released on Tuesday 18 June, and whilst the government is currently still not paying enough to the non-government organizations (NGO’s) out-of-home care agencies to cover the costs of foster care to meet the minimum accreditation standards, these budget increases are a step in the right direction.
New South Wales treasurer described the budget this year as “responsible” in his address prior to releasing the budget.
Nearly $800 million will be going towards the 18,000+ children living in foster care and to vulnerable families. $415 million of that will be going specifically towards the welfare groups that provide out-of-home care services.
Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) provides contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people in out-of-home care (foster care) and their families.
These budget measures are a boost, and while there is always a need for funding within the industry, any funding boost that benefits these disadvantaged children is helpful.
Australia’s two largest banks, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac, have also joined forces with the NSW government to invest $10 million in a new social benefit bond to keep at-risk families together.
As the budget says, “In addition to achieving outcomes in the child protection system, these Social Benefit Bonds are expected to add to the evidence base on how to strengthen families, increase the appetite for social finance products in the market and improve the government’s data and processes”
Any investors can expect protected capital and a return of ten percent once the bond matures in five years.
“With foster care costing up to $66,000 a year, when we can show our service is successfully keeping children safe and reducing the number entering foster care, our investors will receive a financial return.” – Steve Hawkins, The Benevolent Society’s general manager of business development.
Other benefits within the budget
There are many other benefits within the budget this year, including:
- $138 million in funding for specialist homelessness services.
- More than 9000 new places to be created, including supported accommodation and respite places, for people with disabilities.
- Existing accommodation will be upgraded, with millions spent improving group homes and supported living facilities.
- Millions of dollars allocated to the launch of the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare Australia, which will begin in Hunter next month, and involve a trial assisting 10,000 people initially, with a full rollout expected in 2018.
- A 5.2% increase in funding for hospitals to cover the costs of population growth, ageing, wage rises and new technologies. The increase has been described as a much-need funding boost for hospitals.
Become a foster carer!
If you’ve ever considered becoming a foster care, now is the time to act. With thousands of children in foster care, and that number continuously rising, foster care agencies around NSW need all the help they can get.
Anyone can apply to be a foster carer. If you’d like to join Phoenix Rising For Children’s team of carers, and to work with us to provide a nurturing placement for a child / young person, we’d love to hear from you.
PRFC provides care to children across the greater Sydney metropolitan and Central Coast areas. To be eligible to apply for this position you must have an appropriate Australian or New Zealand work visa.
We are contactable in the following ways:
Telephone: Samantha on 02 9873 3992
Write to us at PO Box 71, Oatlands 2117