Calling for carers
August 13th, 2020
Anglicare Victoria’s foster care program – by Cathrine Muston
Anglicare Victoria is looking for more people to become foster carers in Gippsland. Every night in Victoria around 1400 children need a safe and secure place to sleep, and many of these are in the Gippsland region. With the added complications of COVID-19, new foster carers are needed more than ever.
Children come into foster care because they cannot be safely cared for in their family home. There are various reasons for this, which include alcohol and/or drug abuse, domestic violence and mental health issues. Children need a stable and safe environment to live in while the family receives help and support. Foster care provides a stable and supportive home while this happens. The goal of foster care is to return children to their parents wherever possible, although this process can often take months or years.
Foster carers come from diverse backgrounds – singles, couples, families with or without their own children – but what they have in common is a willingness to provide a child or sibling group with a warm and stable home. Foster carers often become an integral part of a child’s life, nurturing them through the upheaval and difficulties that have led to them being removed from their families.
Placing children with the right foster carer can be a difficult task. The foster care team at Anglicare Victoria will always try to keep sibling groups together and aim to place children with complex needs and medical conditions with experienced carers. Foster carers are carefully selected and assessed after completing extensive training, and they are given ongoing support to assist the children placed in their care.
Carers at Anglicare Victoria receive reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses related to caring. The length of time a child will spend in care depends on the circumstances of the family and can require foster carers to be flexible, but it can range from an overnight stay to long term placements.
Foster carers need to be people with time to give to vulnerable children and young people, although (depending on the age and circumstances of the child and carer) many still have full or part-time work. They need to be flexible and adaptable, and willing to manage the various needs of the child or children in their care with the support of a care team.
At this time of COVID-19, general information sessions on foster care are being conducted online.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of foster care at Anglicare Victoria, contact Surinder Demitrios: 03 5135 9555, g i p p s l a n d . c a r e r s @ anglicarevic.org.au.