Urgent: Need for foster carers for young people with disabilities

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fostering NSW has issued an urgent call for foster parents to care for children and young people with disabilities.

Their plea coincides with International Day of People with Disability (Tuesday December 3)

Fostering NSW recognises that kids with disabilities are some of the hardest to place in foster care agencies and there is a growing need for carers of these children and young people.

The Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) is the peak body for out-of-home care agencies and is running the Fostering NSW campaign.

ACWA has released a series of videos as part of their year-long Fostering NSW campaign to increase the number of foster carers across NSW. It is estimated that 450 new carers are needed over the next year in NSW, many of these for children with disabilities.

The videos feature the personal stories of three sets of remarkable NSW based foster carers who have welcomed foster children with disabilities into their hearts and homes.

They all have a unique story to tell but the common thread is how their lives have been enriched through fostering children with disabilities.

Video 1, Master video
This video features all three sets of carers and includes information on the support and training provided by non government agencies to foster carers of kids with disabilities.

Video 2, long-Term foster care: 
Meet long-term carer couple Kim and Tom, and their foster son Matt. Matt is a 19 year old young care leaver. 

Video 3, Aboriginal kinship care: 
Meet Aboriginal kinship carer Lynda and her partner Bruce. They care for Linda’s daughter’s four siblings, one of whom has multiple disabilities including cerebral palsy.

ACWA CEO Andrew McCallum said the videos will help raise the profile of foster care in NSW and highlight the urgent need for carers of children and young people with disabilities:

“There are around 18,000 kids and young people in out-of-home care in NSW. Many people don’t realize that a significant number of these children have some form of disability and benefit hugely from a stable and caring home environment,” said Mr McCallum.

The videos show foster carers who provide a range of care options, from long term care to respite (or short-break) care.

The carers are part of a broader fostering family, which is made up of networks of support which include their foster care agencies, local services and other foster carers.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in NSW visit:

fosteringnsw.com.au or call 1800 2 FOSTER (1800 236 783).

Foster carers and case workers will be available Tuesday 3 December for interviews. We can provide local carers for a local angle.

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CONTACT: Margot Kelly PHONE: 1300 82 85 86 margot@corporatevideoaustralia.com

CONTACT: Sharon Broady Fostering NSW Program Manager PHONE: 0421 340 627 sharon@acwa.asn.au