Education and welfare of foster carers recognised

The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) is thrilled that the education and welfare of foster carers has been recognised as a priority in this State Budget.

We thank Minister for Child Protection Luke Donnellan for his commitment to the support and wellbeing of carers with the announcement last week of expanded funding for the Carer KaFE state-wide training program to include permanent carers as well as continued funding for foster and kinship carers, and funding the FCAV initiative, the Carer Assistance Program (CAP) in the 2021/22 Victorian State Budget.   

 

The new provision for Carer KaFE, recognises the importance of enhancing the carer experience by enabling them to better respond to vulnerable children and young people in their care. It also acknowledges the efforts and success of the Carer KaFÉ program to adapt in the midst of a pandemic and deliver relevant interactive online, as well as face to face, training to over 700 carers since July 2020.

 

“The expansion of the program to include permanent carers is a positive step and Carer KaFÉ looks forward to engaging permanent carers in our training, educational and carer wellbeing offerings.” Paula White, Program Manager, Carer KaFÉ.

 

The budget announcement also included a contribution to continue the Carer Assistance Program, which together with a generous grant from the Australian Communities Foundation  allows the FCAV to continue to provide free and tailored therapeutic support to carers mental health, filling a significant gap in the support and well-being needs of our foster carers. 

 

“We’re delighted to be able to continue to provide the CAP service for another year through the generous grant from the ACF and the Government's contribution to the program. Carers access the CAP with issues of loss, grief, trauma and placement changes as an impact of COVID-19, on them and the children in their care. This continued funding means more carers will have the opportunity to seek that support which is delivered through a sector-specialised counsellor, targeted to the unique challenges faced by foster carers. Our evidence suggests improvements over the sessions in their social, mental and emotional wellbeing. It shows that this has a longer term impact on their care capacity and endurance to continue to provide care.” Tessa Hughes, Carer Information and Support Service, FCAV.

 

 

“There is still work to be done, but this budget provides more support than ever before to at‑risk children, their families and their carers in Victoria.” Minister for Child Protection and Carers, Luke Donnellan MP.

 

The FCAV also welcomes the re-funding of the permanent carers hotline through Permanent Care and Adoptive Families and permanent care inclusion in home stretch packages, as well as increased supports to kinship care placements.