Advocacy Priorities

Priorities for the Foster Care Association of Victoria are directly informed by foster carer’s experiences in providing care to the children in their homes. As the peak body representing foster carers in Victoria, the FCAV continues to champion change through government working groups and independent review processes which aim to target areas for improvement. 

The Foster Care Association of Victoria data shows that carer recruitment and retention is in alarming decline. In 2017–2018, there were 998 foster carers in Victoria. During this time, 606 foster carers withdrew from foster care programs while only 375 foster carers commenced.

 

Appropriate support for current foster carers is the most effective retention strategy. Carers must be properly supported and provided with sufficient funding and access to information to understand and meet the needs of the children and young people in their care.

 

The FCAV advocates to DHHS and the Government to properly resource improved carer support in the following areas as a matter of urgency:

 

  • Knowledge and information about the child or young person in their care, including prior to or at the beginning of the placement
  • Timely access to funds available either through Child Protection or funded agencies to support the placement
  • Identity documents essential to the care of the child or young person, such as passport, birth certificate and Medicare details.
  • Support and respect for their role in the care team as identified in the Foster Carer Charter.
  • Develop guidelines to enable the delivery of respite by non-traditional providers when it is in the best interests of the child

 

These principles are embedded in the new Victorian Government Carer Strategy – “Strong carers, Stronger children.” The FCAV calls on the Victorian Government and Minister for Child Protection, Luke Donnellan to ensure that the strategy actions are fully funded to improve the conditions under which homebased carers provide for the consistency, safety and wellbeing of the children and young people in their homes.

The development of the Carer Strategy was strongly advocated by the FCAV in its scoping report to the Minister in December 2018. FCAV Carer Strategy Discussion paper

Carer Strategy The strategy, to be implemented over the next five years, is available at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/strong-carers-stronger-children.