Urgent need for foster carers in Gippsland


Urgent need for foster carers in Gippsland

THE NUMBER of Gippsland children and young people entering out of home care is on the rise which means there is an urgent need for more members of the community to become foster carers.

Children’s services provider OzChild is encouraging residents of Leongatha and surrounding areas to open their hearts and their homes to these children and young people.

Senior manager, carer recruitment and retention Sharon McRae said OzChild’s intake team had seen an increase in the number of requests for the organisation to provide homes for at-risk children and young people in the Gippsland region.

“Across Victoria there are over 10,000 children in OOHC and unfortunately it is increasing each year. And it’s sad to say the active numbers of fosters carers is decreasing,” MsMcRae said.

“There is a desperate need for more foster carers so we are reaching out to members of the local community to consider helping these children and young people.”

While currently homes might be found for the children and young people with existing OzChild foster carers living outside of the Gippsland region, the organisation makes it a high priority to place children with carers where possible in their own community.

“Until recently OzChild didn’t offer foster care services in the Gippsland region. OzChild has always considered local solutions for the children they are asked to place, so in line with our strategic goals to extend our reach, we feel we are in a good position to do that by expanding our services into the Gippsland region,”Ms McRae said.

“It is important where ever possible to find foster carers in the local community. There is enough turmoil happening in the children’s lives without removing them from friends, their school and even extended family as well.”

Ms McRae said people interested in becoming foster carers needed to be over 21, have secure accommodation and appropriate space in the home. They would then undergo assessment and screening.

“We are looking for people who can provide respite, emergency, short term and long term foster care; their commitment is entirely up to them,”Ms McRae said.

“They are provided with full training and ongoing support from a dedicated team of case managers with the aim of safely reuniting children back to their families.”

OzChild has been supporting Victorian children and families for over 167 years and has been delivering foster care in the Southern Metro region of Melbourne since 1979.

Helping out: Laura and Ben, two of OzChild’s young carers, urge others to take up the opportunity to be foster carers.

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Posted by on Oct 19 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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