More than 100 new family-based carers have put up their hands to provide safe and loving homes for the state’s most vulnerable children and young people over the past 12 months.

As at 30 June 2020, an additional 82 primary foster carers had been recruited.

The number of kinship and specific-child only carers had also increased by 29.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson welcomed the increase in family-based carers and recognised the efforts of all carers as part of Foster and Kinship Carer Week (13-19 September 2020).

During this important week, the Minister and Department for Child Protection (DCP) celebrate the vital role of family-based carers who support and care for more than 3500 children and young people in care.

“I’m proud to announce our target of 50 new foster carers per annum has once again been achieved and was well exceeded,” said Minister Sanderson.

“Despite all the changes and challenges in our lives over the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s humbling to see so many South Australians wanting to improve the lives of children and young people in our community.

“While the recruitment of new carers is something we absolutely strive for, this week is a time to recognise the ongoing efforts of our existing dedicated carers who provide unwavering support to children and young people in care.

“The love and support of carers makes a remarkable impact on children and young people and ensures they are given every opportunity to reach their full potential.

“The dedication and resilience shown during this year’s challenging times are a testament to the wonderful efforts of these often unsung heroes of our community.

“Thank you to all our wonderful foster and kinship carers who open their hearts and homes to our most vulnerable children and young people, whether that be for a short stay, long-term or respite care.

“I would encourage any South Australian who is willing to contribute to our community to consider foster care – it could change your life, and make the world of difference for our children and young people, as well as bringing immense benefit to our community as a whole.”

DCP Chief Executive Cathy Taylor said foster and kinship carers had the ability to make a positive and lasting difference to children, young people and families.

“This week is an opportunity for everyone in our community to acknowledge and celebrate the selfless work carried out by foster and kinship carers,” said Ms Taylor.

“It is also an ideal occasion to raise the profile of fostering and show how it can transform lives and make the world of difference.

“More carers are always needed, particularly those who are willing to care for sibling groups, children with a disability, older children and adolescents.”

For more information about becoming a foster carer, call 1300 2 FOSTER (367 837) or visit the foster care website.