Support to the Carer Assistance Program (CAP)

 Please copy text below, fill in your own details and send via email to: s.hauge@fcav.org.au

 

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Dear Treasurer Pallas

 

I join Samantha Hauge, CEO of the Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV), in urging the State Government and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to continue to fund the Carer Assistance Program (CAP) providing therapeutic care to Victoria foster carers as a critical part of their mental health and wellbeing as we move forward through the COVID pandemic. Current funding will cease on 30 June 2021.

 

Agency, staff and carer feedback has confirmed that having a program that delivers a confidential service, focussed on carer wellbeing, is greatly valued. Having a program that delivers this with sector specific knowledge and expertise, is of significant benefit. Evaluation of the program reveals that:

  • 100% of the respondents claimed having access to the CAP worker helped me;
  • 100% of the respondents claimed they would recommend the service to others;
  • 100% of respondents agreed that it is helpful to have a service for carers, like CAP, which understands the home based care sector and the issues faced by foster carers;
  • 95% of respondents felt a service like CAP “would assist to retain me as a carer”.

Some direct carer feedback includes:

(The CAP therapist)… listened and responded to my concerns and gave me the tools and suggestions to progress forward. I am very grateful for the professional support.
“It was wonderful to talk to someone who already understood the complexity of carer issues… (helpful)… to just be able to dive into talking about life as a carer and some of our struggles without having to talk about a back story or explain who everyone is and the way foster care works…would definitely use this service again.”

 

The FCAV 2021 carer snapshot shows a significant decrease of active carer households over the past year and an unprecedented number of carers that have gone on hold and are not available for fostering, risking placements for children in out of home care and increasing the strain on our current carers. There were also 300 carer households that exited the care system. The net loss in the number of carers available to take placements does not meet the demand and does not reflect the ever growing need for Foster Carers in Victoria.

 

The fallout from COVID-19 continues for foster care households and the Carer Assistance Program, as the only targeted therapeutic offering to support carers of children and young people in state care in Victoria, is a critical service to maintain our current carers and provide much needed support for carer wellbeing with early access to supports.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

 

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