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Children go into foster care for many reasons. For example, there might be family violence in the home or a history of neglect or physical abuse. Currently, there is a shortage of foster parents in Australia, and in some cases, there is a need for people from a specific cultural background.
Foster carers give children and young people a safe, stable, and nurturing family environment for a few months, years, or for the rest of their lives.
Monica [not real name] and her husband have three foster children, all from the same birth mother. They are five, three and a half, and one year of age.
- There is a need for foster carers in Australia
- There are many different types of foster care ranging from long-term care to respite care
- The starting point is to get in touch with a foster care agency in the state and territory where you live
After applying through an agency to become foster parents, they got approved for up to three children — zero to 10 years of age.
"My husband and I were approved for up to three children — zero to 10 years of age. So, we thought we'd get a, like an older family, but we got matched with one little boy and he was seven months old at the time, but there was some concerns about his developmental health. I have a nursing background, so they thought that I would be a good support for him. And then his sister was born about 10 months after that, and they asked us if we would be interested in fostering her too."
Renée Carter is the Chief Executive Officer at Adopt Change. She says there is a shortage of foster parents in Australia.
"Across Australia, there are actually around 46,000 children who are in what is called ‘out of home care’. So that is government care where children are living away from their parents and the government organisers for them to either be in foster care, kinship care or alternative accommodation when they haven't had a home found for them yet."