7 December, 2023
Drive on for foster carers
Despite the number of foster and kinship carers in Queensland increasing over recent years, the number of children in need of care still outweighs the number of carers.
According to new child safety data, the number of foster and kinship carers has increased to 6,017, up from 5,927 at the same time in 2021 and 5,680 in 2020.
There are currently more than 11,000 children living with foster or kinship carers across the state and more carers are urgently needed in the Moreton Bay region.
Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Children, Youth & Families Service Manager in Caboolture, Dustin Baker, said his team is working around the clock to ensure all children are placed into safe and loving homes.
“We have 61 general carer households and 59 kinship carer households in the Moreton Bay region,” Mr Baker said.
“Our need is for general carers who are able to care for sibling groups, of two or three children under the age of 12, in a long-term capacity and to support reunification, or to provide short-term breaks for our kinship carers.”
Mr Baker believes there are more foster carers out there who just don’t know it yet.
“We are always looking for more carers and I would encourage anyone who is considering it to do their research and to speak to one of our staff about taking that initial step,” he said.
“It can be a wonderful and rewarding role.
“People often think they’re too old, or their house is too small, or that you have to be married.
“The truth is that great foster carers come from many different walks of life.
“You can be single, married, a same sex or de facto couple, retired, working full-time or part-time, it doesn’t matter.
“The important thing is that you’re genuinely willing and able to offer a positive environment to support and nurture the best interests of every child.
“Carer families play such a crucial role in ensuring some of our most vulnerable children receive the support they need and deserve.”
Anglicare is a not-for-profit charity that provides a range of social services including mental health, counselling, homelessness support and aged care, and has been supporting foster carers for the past 30 years.
“Sometimes taking the first step can be daunting,” Mr Baker said.
“But we’ve been supporting foster and kinship carers for more than 30 years, and we understand what information and support is needed during the application process.”
To learn more about becoming a foster carer please register for an upcoming information session at youbeyou.org.au or call the Caboolture Children, Youth & Families service on (07) 5428 4949.