“More than 100 vulnerable children and young people are living in alternative emergency housing, such as hotels and motels, as the child protection system faces a dire shortage of Foster Carers,” reported Amber Schultz in The Sun Herald on September 10, 2023, the start of Foster Care and Kinship Week.
According to the report in the Herald, “There are around 15,000 children and young people in the NSW child protection system. The shortage of Foster Carers has resulted in an increasing number of children being housed in residential care.”
The Department of Communities and Justice estimates that an extra 600 Foster Carers are needed a year to take care of children who cannot live safely at home.
NSW Minister for Families and Communities, Kate Washington has used Foster Care and Kinship Week to make an urgent plea for more parents to sign up as Foster Carers.
“Each year, 600 new Foster Carers are needed in NSW to take care of children who can’t live safely at home. Carers can be family members or foster carers, and come from a diverse range of backgrounds and all walks of life.
All carers receive training, support and an allowance to help them throughout their care journey.”Kate Washington, NSW Minister for Families and Communities.
Learn about becoming a Foster Carer here
The Burdekin Association hosted a stall at the Addison Road Community Markets in Marrickville on Sunday September 10, 2023 to discuss volunteering and foster caring opportunities at The Burdekin Association.
“The Burdekin Association loves to be a part of the local community. We want to partner with people who would like to understand the work that The Burdekin Association does with young people aged between 9 and 24. We believe that people in the community generally wish to help young people who haven’t had the best start in life – to have an opportunity to develop their skills and their confidence. The Burdekin Association provides that opportunity for the right people,” said Jill Wrathal Strategic Projects / Volunteer Manager with The Burdekin Association.
“Being Foster Care and Kinship Week, The Burdekin Association is looking for Foster Carers who have the right attributes, who love teenagers, and who are also very patient.”Jill Wrathall, Strategic Projects / Volunteer Manager with The Burdekin Association.
The Burdekin Association provides free accommodation to Foster Carers. We rent houses all around Sydney in locations that are mutually agreed. As a Foster Carer, once you have received the training and been assessed as suitable, we are able to match you with a young person and provide a house for you in a location that meets both the needs of the young person and of you and your family situation.
“Foster Carers provide the ideal environment for a young person to thrive in. Foster Carers can be people at all different stages of life – we can have people in their 20’s, people in their 70’s. What they provide is a stable, consistent, loving home environment for a young person who has experienced not so many good things in their life. Often there has been trauma, abuse, neglect and these young people need to be given a stable, consistent home environment where they have their own bedroom, feel safe, and where the Foster Carer provides a consistent framework of support for them and they can engage with education and work opportunities as any child growing up in a family would want to do.”Jill Wrathall, Strategic Projects / Volunteer Manager with The Burdekin Association.
Foster caring isn’t easy, but for the right people, it can be so rewarding to make a difference in the life of a young person. That’s why The Burdekin Association has its volunteering program. It’s a gentle entry point, with some volunteers going on to become Foster Carers.
Some ways that people in the community can volunteer as mentors to young people, is by helping them with:
- Their education
- Obtaining a driver’s licence
- Learner driving supervision
- Learning to cook
- Learning to catch public transport
- Developing their skills and their confidence