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Profiling Future Carer Families at Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) conference

Amanda Stevenson, Manager, Research and Social Policy presented a paper to the AIFS conference, 2014 on Friday 1 August that explored the meaning of a comprehensive prospective survey of n=370 foster care enquirers by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare for current home-based-care program models, and the programmatic design needed to attract, integrate and retain future carers.

In the context of recent proposed reforms in models of out-of-home care, and rapid societal evolution in the concept and composition of ‘family', it is critical that we re-visit assumptions about the type of families that might provide home based care – such as foster and kinship care – into the future. Identifying four segments of potential foster carer families, the study explored the future contribution of sole parent families of both genders, older parent couples and same-sex parent couples and families, to the home-based care response to vulnerable children. It considered costs and resources for these families, the types of care they prefer to provide and placement stability for each segment, motivations to care, the barriers to conversion and retention and the impact of ‘community image' on the sustainability of out-of-home care into the future.

The presentation is available below. The full report underlying the presentation: Pathways to caring: strategic engagement of potential foster carers is also available for download or in hard copy by contacting the Centre.

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