FOSTER CARERS NEED MORE SUPPORT

FOSTER CARERS NEED MORE SUPPORT

4 May 2010

A recruitment drive to increase the number of foster carers across the state will not work unless the NSW Government increases the support offered to foster carers the Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George said today.

Mr George said the campaign needed to focus on long-term retention of carers rather than a short-term recruitment drive.

“There are currently over 16 000 children in foster care across NSW and while the recent recruitment drive may lift the number of carers for these children, there needs to be a serious change in the level of Government support offered to foster carers, their families and the children if we are going to retain stable numbers of foster carers.

“Speaking with those who have opened their homes to foster children, a shortage of carers has seen foster carers force to take on more children than is suitable.”

Mr George said the Department of Community Services is sending mixed messages to the public regarding their policy on children in out of home care.

“In one breath the Minister is saying the Department is committed to reducing the number of children in care but in same statement we are told there is a shortage of carers.

“There should be long-term strategies in place which include greater support from the NSW Government, particularly in the case of children with special needs, or where family members have taken on the role as a carer of a family member’s child.”

Mr George said that foster carers are unique members of the community that do not get enough public recognition.

“Foster carers do so much for the community that has failed to be recognised for too long, and the NSW Government needs to show much greater support and recognition for carers and what they do, if more families are going to raise their hands and take on such responsibility.”

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577