I am always amazed by the work of foster carers who open their homes and their hearts to care for a child or young person without reservation. Over 43,000 children in Australia are unable to live at home and are taken into out of home care. Foster carers offer a sanctuary of safety and care for these vulnerable children and young people who, more often than not, have experienced a turbulent upbringing.
Today we are seeing an increasing amount of children entering out of home care. Statistics from FACS reveal that there has been a staggering 373% increase in children entering the out of home care system over the last 20 years in NSW, representing a growing demand for more foster carers. In NSW alone it is predicted that almost half of the 600 children in the states foster home system would benefit from moving immediately into a foster care home. However, with a shortage of foster carers these children are missing out on the stability and normality of living in a home.
There are a number of barriers affecting the recruitment of foster carers today, including the rising cost of living, ageing population and housing affordability. We must work together to address these barriers so that no child or young person is denied the best start in life.