Carer Advocacy Priorities 2022

Foster Care Association of Victoria  - Foster Care Campaign

 

The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) is asking the Victorian Government to target foster care  before the state election in November 2022. This is because foster care is a critically underfunded and under resourced area of child welfare and volunteer foster carers have borne some of the highest health, wellbeing, educational, social and economic costs during the pandemic.

 

The FCAV asked all of its 5100  members to complete this short priority issues survey - Carer Priorities Survey Report | Foster Care Association of Victoria (fcav.org.au)

 

This gave us the highest priority needs of volunteer carers of our state’s children and young people in care and identify vital reforms for their support. Victoria again had the highest number of carers (596) exit the foster care system in Australia during 2019-20[1] and proportionally fewest commencing foster care (354). This represents a net loss of 242 carers for the state.

 

The FCAV has previously welcomed better support for carers including:

 

  • a short-term extension of the Carer Assistance Program (CAP) that provided therapeutic support to foster carers, 
  • universal access to the Better Futures/Home Stretch that extended care support for all young people in care; and 
  • the consolidation of ongoing funding for Carer KaFÉ training with expansion to include permanent carers.
  • Carer Help desk at the DFFH

 

These initiatives are essential for achieving stability for carers (and therefore, in the lives of vulnerable children and young people in their care) leading to long-term benefits for those children and the wider community. Evidence suggests these measures represent future cost savings in the areas of education, employment, mental health, housing and welfare services.

 

Unfortunately, the administrative and financial costs imposed on carers who are funding care out of their own pockets, remain as barriers for accessing carer support and undermining carer retention. This has significant impact costs including placement instability, carer attrition costs, loss of experienced carers and increased recruitment costs. They have unquantifiable impacts on the quality of experience for the majority of carers who continue to provide care for children and young people in their homes despite these imposts.  

Read the detailed outline of FCAV's advocacy claims here: FCAV_Advocacy_Priorities_2022.pdf