LABOR GOVERNMENT LISTENS TO FOSTER CARERS

The Andrews Labor Government held its first roundtable with experienced foster carers from across Victoria in Melbourne today, as part of its Foster Care Attraction, Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

The meeting was convened in partnership with the Foster Care Association of Victoria and is part of the Labor Government’s $1.5 million public carer recruitment and retention campaign that was announced in February.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos chaired the discussion and listened to ideas about how to improve the experience and support for Victorian foster carers.

The roundtable gave current carers the chance to share their experiences and ideas with the Minister, and drive input to the Government’s agenda for supporting and recruiting carers into the future.

The Government is working to boost and retain foster and kinship carers through a public recruitment campaign and carer support program targeting current carers.

This roundtable builds on the $43 million investment for Targeted Care Packages, which provides a flexible approach to moving children and young people out of residential care and into home-based care.

The Government also provided $31.3 million in its first budget to improve financial support for carers and is reviewing the system to make it simpler.

Ms Mikakos will chair another foster care roundtable in Bendigo in September.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We need to recruit more carers to give as many children who cannot live with their own families a home with a caring and supportive family environment.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is listening to the people who offer their homes and their hearts to children in need so we can improve their support.”

“There are times when residential care is unavoidable, but it is my view and the goal of the Government that residential care is a last resort – we are focused on placing young people into home-based care.”

“This a great opportunity to speak with carers and to hear their ideas for making the system better.”