Australia has 9,900 foster carer households and 13,700 relative/kinship households caring for 43,400 children in out-of-home care. Given the higher number of children in care, compared to carers, it is not surprising that over half (52%) of all foster care households have multiple placements (2-4 foster children) compared to 39% of relative/kinship households. A range of financial and non-financial supports are required to support and sustain placements, prevent carer burnout and the breakdown of placements. An important component of financial support is carer remuneration (i.e. care allowance/subsidy). Ongoing difficulties in carer recruitment/retention, and the increasing costs of children, suggests it is appropriate to consider the current levels of carer allowances provided by the eight jurisdictions and discuss how levels compare to current Foster Care Estimates (FCEs). The FCEs, based on the costs of children not in care, are adjusted to reflect estimates of the day-to-day costs of caring for children in different age groups. The ongoing absence of a national framework setting levels of subsidies fails to ensure adequacy and equity for all carers. This paper looks at the state of play and how, in relation to remuneration, carers in the various States are faring in relation to the FCEs.Read more...

Victorian foster carers are reimbursed at among the worst rate in Australia, despite having the most children admitted to out of home care anywhere across the nation in the past year.Read more...

Australia’s largest ever foster and kinship care conference, with over 700 carers and delegates, will today call on the nation’s governments to give young people in state care the option to extend support from 18 to 21.Read more...

Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO) is the only known empirically proven therapeutic foster care model alternative to residential care placements. The program targets children and young people in residential care or at risk of entering into residential care because of very serious emotional and/or behavioural difficulties.Read more...

This newsletter is a popular resource which reaches around 1900 foster carer households every issue. We are aware that for some of our carers don’t go online or use social media sites for information and so we are really keen to continue the publication of this printed newsletter. That said, with the burgeoning community of members using our website, blog, facebook page and e-news, we’ve decided to reduce the printed version of our news down to four issues a year on a seasonal basis. So, welcome to our Winter edition of the Foster Care Association newsletter.Read more...

  We are excited to announce that due to wonderful support and passion of all the carers, workers and stakeholders in the OOHC sector, the National Foster and Kinship Conference is sold out and a waitlist is now open.   We have an amazing conference lined up for you with over 60 experienced and informative speakers covering a vast range of topics.   Our sponsors and exhibitors play a key role in supporting the Conference and our Community, you can look forward to seeing them in September. Read more...

We are so excited to be holding our AGM at Melbourne Zoo! We have been given 180 adult tickets for free entry (children are free). If you are a current Zoo member and already gain free entry, please let us know in your RSVP so we can offer free entry to another member!Read more...

Mounting evidence suggests that children and young people living in out-of-home care (OoHC) are at increased risk of problematic eating behaviours (i.e., emotional eating, compulsive eating, overeating, and binge eating, stealing or hoarding food). A recent study found nearly a quarter (22.1%) of young people living in residential care in Victoria presented with clinically significant eating problems. Greater attention to young people’s eating behaviours by the people responsible for their care is, therefore, not only warranted but needed urgently. The aim of this study is to better understand the prevalence of problematic eating amongst young people living in OoHC. The findings of this study will be used to develop appropriate interventions specifically for the unique context of OoHC.Read more...

Former AFL footballer Digby Morrell joins students packing goodies for foster kidsRead more...

The Foster Care Association of Victoria would like to say a huge thank you to Crumbz Craft in Healesville who dedicated a Yarn-a-thon in May to fundraise for us. They today reached their goal of an incredible $5,000 which will be put to use supporting our wonderful foster carers.Read more...

This reference guide was created to help foster and kinship carers quickly locate information regarding common questions that may arise during their experience caring for children and young people in out-of-home care. Read more...