Extra Support to Carer Households - COVID19

The FCAV was acutely aware of the additional financial burden and stress many carer households were facing as Victoria continued with Stage 3 restrictions including additional bills, food, entertainment and remote learning related costs which are not covered by the care allowance. Likewise, carers were not automatically among the cohort of recipients for stimulus payments or other national COVID-19 driven subsidies and payments. Our CEO, Sam Hauge, strongly advocated that all foster carers volunteering to care for children and young people through the coronavirus pandemic should be financially supplemented to meet the increased demand for support. 

The FCAV welcomed the announcement from Luke Donnellan, Minister for Child Protection and Carers on 23 April 2020 of a significant package of support to carer households during the COVID 19 pandemic. The package recognised the significant additional social and economic hardship that the crisis response has placed on carers and the vulnerable children in their care.

Foster and kinship carers will receive or may have already received a one-off $600 payment for each child in their care as well as increases to other supports to ensure placement stability during this crisis.
The Home Stretch program will also be expanded to include support to all young people currently in care who are due to turn 18 before December this year.
Extra funding is being committed to a dedicated phone support with up-to-date advice, funding to increase much needed respite and a boost to the reimbursable expenses fund to cover the extra costs associated with caring at home full time.

Who is eligible?

Primary foster and statutory kinship carers are eligible for the payment if they have a child/young person in their care, since and from the fortnight the 11-24 March 2020, and are currently still caring for that child/young person when the payment is scheduled to be made in late May 2020.

When can carers expect to receive their supplementary payment?

Foster and kinship carers are not required to do anything and can expect to receive the payment, together with their fortnightly care allowance payment, in late May 2020.

Can carers with greater need access additional financial support?

In addition to the supplementary payment, the Victorian Government is creating a flexible pool of about $2.3million that foster, statutory kinship and permanent carers most in need can access should they require additional financial assistance to ensure stable placements for vulnerable children.

Primary foster and statutory kinship carers will be able to access additional financial supports through the child’s case manager.

This includes $300,000 in flexible brokerage to support Permanent Carers in need. Permanent carers will be able to access these additional funds through Permanent Care and Adoptive Families. Information about permanent care flexible funding, including how to apply, is available at http://www.pcafamilies.org.au/flexible-funding