During Foster Care Week (September 12-18) leading child welfare organisation Anglicare Victoria is shining a spotlight on the urgent need for more foster carers across the state and the great reasons why people should give foster caring a go.
Here in the north central region there is a critical shortage of carers, which means many local children and young people are being placed in care outside of the region.
Team Leader of Caregiving Services at Anglicare Victoria in the north central region, Sarah Daykin, said they were in critical need of local carers.
“As an example in August we had 24 children requiring placement, unfortunately we were only able to find care for five, which means 19 children had to be placed outside of the region and away from their family, friends and networks,” Ms Daykin said.
“We have 86 care households across our north central region, which spans from Wedderburn and Echuca in the north down through the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges Shires, but we need more,” she said.
Guildford carer Ama has been an accredited foster carer with Anglicare Victoria since October, 2017.
Ama has three teenage children of her own and has been providing care to a sibling group of three since 2018 with other short-term placements and respites along the way, too.
Ama said being a foster carer had been incredibly rewarding and a wonderful experience for her whole family.
“Every child needs a home and there is such a shortage of carers in our region. Once you see the need its hard to look away,” she said.
Ama has provided a range of placements including emergency, respite, short and long-term care to many children and young people.
Ama is currently a full-time stay at home parent for the three girls currently in her care as well as supporting one of her own daughters to do VCE and her other daughter to engage in high schooling.
“It’s challenging at times but it’s been an incredible experience. Little ones bring such joy into your lives and it is wonderful to see your own children step into the role of older siblings and show care and compassion for others,” she said.
Ama said she had been considering becoming a foster carer for about 10 years before making the call.
“I ran out of excuses why I shouldn’t do it and decided to have a go. I have no regrets. Anglicare Victoria have offered wonderful support every step of the way. They are great to work with,” she said.
Anyone interested in foster caring should register for an information session.
To learn more about becoming a foster carer visit anglicarevic.org.au/fostering or call 1800 809 722.