It's National Volunteer Week

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It's National Volunteer Week


The Victorian Care Allowance provided to volunteer foster carers is not enough to cover the day to day living expenses of the children in their care. This means carers often pay for living expenses themselves and are often left out of pocket.


Foster Carers are volunteers and are not paid for foster caring. Over 80% of foster carers are women who often work part time or give up work to support the vulnerable children in their care. Employment sacrifices made to provide this valuable community service results in lower wages and retirement savings.


Victoria has one of the lowest Foster Care Allowance rates of any state in Australia. A Victorian foster carer gets around $90 less per week for a six year old child than carers of six year old child in NSW or Queensland. And the Victorian Government’s Care Allowance cost of living indexation in July 2022 was only 2% when annual household inflation was over 6%.


This means that the Care Allowance has significantly decreased in real value over the last 12 months.


Volunteer foster carers should not be left out of pocket when providing this community service. The Foster Care Association of Victoria calls on the Victorian Government to provide a cost-of-living increase to the Care Allowance in the 2023/24 State Budget to match inflation and cover the costs of care. 


Cost of living pressures are one of the factors influencing carer decisions to give up volunteering. The FCAV Carer Snapshot shows that there has been a 26% drop in the number of interested carers going through the accreditation process in 2022/23 which led to 50 fewer new carers.


Volunteer foster care deserves investment. More on FCAV's advocacy here.