South Australians are being encouraged to focus on the importance of helping others and contributing to the community through this time of uncertainty, with a new foster care recruitment campaign.

The recruitment campaign, led by the Department of Child Protection, urges people to consider whether they could provide a safe, stable and loving home for our most vulnerable children and young people.

Kicking off this week, the campaign will run on all social media platforms and asks the community to share carers stories and raise awareness about the need for more foster carers using the hashtag #FosterCareSA.

With an ongoing need for foster carers, the campaign will highlight the voices of current carers sharing their foster care experiences.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said there was a strong need for more people to consider taking on this important role as carers.

“Now, more than ever, I’d urge South Australians to consider opening their hearts and homes to help care for our most vulnerable children and young people through fostering,” said Minister Sanderson.

“COVID-19 has prompted many people to pause and consider what is important in their lives and how they can make a difference.

“During this difficult time, many of us are taking a step back to think about positive changes we can make in our lives.

“If you have thought about foster care before, now is the perfect time to take the next step to find out more, with many agencies holding online information sessions.

“We know that stability and permanency is vital for good outcomes for our children and foster care gives young people an opportunity to have a family when they’re not able to live with their biological family, for whatever reason.”

DCP Chief Executive Cathy Taylor said there were areas of greatest need, including carers who are willing to care for sibling groups, children with a disability and older children and adolescents, as well as carers for regional areas such as Mount Gambier.

“Foster carers have the ability to make a positive and lasting difference to children, young people and families and I encourage those interested to visit fostercare.sa.gov.au or call 1300 2 367 837 to find out more,” said Ms Taylor.

“Not all foster care requires a long-term commitment. You can offer as much or as little time as you can manage with respite, short term and emergency, or long term care.”

Life Without Barriers carer Glen Davie, who has cared for an 11-year-old boy with his wife Karen for the past three years, said carers can have a huge impact on changing the trajectory of a young person’s life.

“The difference you will make is far reaching,” said Glen.

Anyone interested in finding out more about foster care should visit www.fostercare.sa.gov.au or call 1300 2 FOSTER (367 837).

See more about the #FosterCareSA campaign.