The Importance of Foster Care
Victorian foster carers play a vital role in giving vulnerable and at risk children safe and loving homes, helping to change their lives for the better. They are the cornerstone of the out of home system.
However, for the first time in the state’s history the number of foster carers has entered a steady decline and the demand for foster carers is continuing to grow. These trends are concerning.
While there are myriad of factors contributing to the current situation, providers, senior sector representatives and the Department agree that amongst the most influential are:
- A general lack of awareness exists within the community about the role and benefits of being a foster carer, and the difference foster carers make in the lives of vulnerable children and young people; and
- The general community does not know there is a shortage of foster carers.
Foster care providers have varying recruitment success and most have the same difficulties in attracting carers.
Attracting More Foster Carers
The Victorian Foster Care Collaborative Project (FCCP) to improve foster carer attraction & recruitment is an industry developed and led solution to achieve greater impact in raising awareness about becoming a foster carer in the form of a joint foster carer attraction campaign.
This will include:
- A major public attraction and awareness raising campaign;
- A central website and enquiry line to serve people interested in becoming foster carers.
The ultimate objective is to achieve greater numbers of foster carers through a combination of increased enquiries, improved conversion rates, and enhanced retention levels.
The core objectives of the Project are:
- Increased community awareness of foster care;
- Increased number and diversity of carers;
- Improved carer recruitment experience;
- Reduced average time taken to become an accredited carer;
- Reduced proportion of carers leaving the role;
- Continuous improvement of the enquirer process.