The generosity, kindness and dedication of South Australia’s more than 2300 foster and kinship carers will be celebrated during Foster and Kinship Carers’ Week (9 – 16 September) with a range of events being held across South Australia this week.
Department for Child Protection Chief Executive, Cathy Taylor says foster and kinship carers are the foundation of South Australia’s child protection system providing secure, stable and loving homes for almost 3700 children and young people, sometimes at only a moment’s notice.
“Carers are our community’s quiet heroes and we gratefully acknowledge the amazing support they provide our children and young people each and every day,” said Cathy.
“Often children who have experienced abuse or neglect are recovering from trauma and it takes patience and a special set of skills to care for them and help them through the healing process.
“Foster and Kinship Carers’ Week is the perfect time to celebrate and share the wonderful stories of our foster and kinship carers, who open their hearts and homes each and every day,” she said.
“In South Australia, we have a shortage of foster carers, with more children in out of home care than there are family-based care places, so we’re looking to attract more foster carers.
“It’s important for people to know that we welcome foster carers from all walks of life, and restrictions based on gender, marital status, work status and the like just don’t exist, , so if people are genuinely interested, we want to hear from them.
“There are so many different ways to provide foster care, and so many types of care needed so make the call and find out more about it,” said Cathy.
While the majority of children and young people in out of home care do live in foster or kinship care, there is a shortfall in foster and kinship carers for children and young people needing a stable family-based environment while in care.
The state government has recently announced additional funding support to assist with growing the number of foster carers in South Australia, including extending carer payments for young people until age 21 from 1 January 2019.
The dedication of South Australia’s foster and kinship carers is being recognised around the state this week with a series of events, activities and functions.
Anyone wanting to know more can call 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837) or visit https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/children-care/foster-care for more information.