The NSW Government invests in Foster Care
The need for foster carers
On the 30th of May 2013, NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward launched ‘Fostering NSW – a year-long foster care recruitment and awareness campaign, to encourage people to open their heart and foster a child.
The NSW Government is investing $1 million in a year-long social media and print advertising campaign to avoid a shortfall in foster carers across the State.
At the moment, there are more than 18,000 children in out of home care, a number the government feels is too high, and this number continues to rise.
There are over 9000 foster carers in NSW however, there is urgent need for new foster families for a variety of reasons including the replacement of leaving carers, and new carers to meet additional needs.
The minister found that the majority of carers are older people and it is important to do the utmost to attract young families into the foster caring industry.
“(There is currently) no (shortage of carers) but we think there will be if we don’t do something about it…Foster carers in NSW…work tirelessly and often thanklessly caring for our most vulnerable children and young people… (but) there is urgent need for new foster families.” – Pru Goward, Minister for Family and Community Services.
By investing this money in advertising and social media, the government hopes its campaign will attract an additional 450 carers over the coming year, specifically young families from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds. There are children that are in care at the moment that would specifically benefit from being placed within foster care situations with people from their own cultures.
Another area of concern for Ms Goward is encouraging more young families to enter into ‘open adoptions’.
“We recognise that permanency is very important to children and gives them a better start.
“The outcomes for children in foster care aren’t great and we think one the reasons for that is not only the trauma of the children when they come into care but also the fact they often move from foster family to foster family.
“So despite the good work foster families do, we think what we really need to start stressing is permanency for children and that means either guardianship orders or adoption where we can see that is a possibility and the birth parents are happy to do that because with an open adoption the birth parents can stay in touch. (With open adoption the children are) basically connected to that one family for their whole lives…”
“I don’t know what most people get on their 18th birthdays but these kids get a letter from me and a goodbye…”
“So, the family isn’t paid anymore, and therefore the child is no longer part of that family. So, it is very sad.” – Pru Goward, Minister for Family and Community Services.
Ms Goward hopes the campaign will reach couples in their mid to late 20s who aren’t able have children of their own and are open to the idea of adoption.
“[Foster caring] is such a wonderful thing… there are so many loving foster parents and they love doing it because they can see a child turning from a little frightened thing into a happy stable kid who can actually go to school and get fed and get cuddles and receives affection and can go on to lead a normal life.” – Pru Goward, Minister for Family and Community Services.
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 or
My Careers Website: www.mycareer.com.au