Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Provide further support to Victorian foster carers
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council the unprecedented crisis the Victorian out-of-home care system is facing with the number of available foster care placement options not meeting current demand. Reportedly, large numbers of accredited foster carers are leaving their roles due to a lack of support. According to statistics from Foster Care Association Victoria, in 2018/19, 375 new foster carers were recruited, however, 606 resigned that year leaving a net decrease of 231 carers across the state.

Carers provide around the clock care to some of society’s most vulnerable citizens yet are becoming increasingly disenfranchised, feeling frustrated and unsupported by a system that does not seem to value their role. Carers advocating for children in their care need to have their voices heard and rights upheld.

We implore the Victorian Government to show its commitment to children in the out-of-home care system by supporting the people who are charged with meeting their day-to-day needs by implementing three low-cost, high-impact changes that will immensely improve outcomes for carers and children:

(1) Ensure that all carers are given access to case management support that is independent to that provided to the child(ren) in their care.
(2) Out-of-home care agencies be held accountable for the well-being and retention of carers, including developing and implementing comprehensive plans to promote and maintain carers’ well-being.
(3) That carers are afforded the opportunity to have an exit interview conducted by someone external to their agency, with the feedback de-identified and provided to the Department of Health and Human Services for review as part of agency compliance processes.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the government to implement policies that will provide independent case management support for carers, hold out-of-home care agencies accountable, and provide external agency exit interviews for carers, in order to improve outcomes for carers and children.
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