The dedication and generosity of Western Australia’s general and family carers will be celebrated during WA Foster Carers Week.
More than 5,500 children and young people in WA – for many different reasons, and through no fault of their own – are unable to live with their birth parents.
It is in these circumstances that foster carers step up and provide a home and unconditional love and support, either through short-term weekend respite or longer-term care arrangements.
The McGowan Government will give thanks to WA’s foster carers with a range of activities, including a brunch with carers in the metropolitan area and a series of regional events to be held across the State.
In acknowledgement of the pivotal role that foster carers play in the child protection system, Minister McGurk highlighted the Foster Care Refresh project as an important initiative to ensure the Department of Communities and foster carers are working together to deliver the best possible outcomes for children in care.
The Foster Care Refresh project is currently collaborating with foster carers to identify priority issues and areas for improvement, in partnership with the Foster Care Association of Western Australia and the Alliance for Children at Risk.
Led by the Department of Communities, the Foster Care Refresh is in its second phase, with a final report due to be released mid-2020. This report will include recommendations to address gaps and improve outcomes for foster families and children in care.
The project team engaged in face-to-face discussions with more than 200 foster carers across the State during phase one, while a recent roundtable meeting chaired by the Commissioner for Children and Young People discussed opportunities to strengthen partnerships, improve access to training, and boost the recruitment and retention of foster carers.
Phase two consists of the Department of Communities meeting with carers from community sector organisations to hear their views on foster care in WA.
The Department of Communities is always looking for suitable foster carers from metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations across Western Australia. To learn more about becoming a foster carer, visit https://childprotectioncareers.wa.gov.au/foster-carer-recruitment
As stated by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“The role of foster carers and family carers should not be underestimated – they generously give their time and support to help some of WA’s most vulnerable children and young people.
“Foster Carers Week is an important opportunity to recognise carers’ selfless actions and thank them for changing the lives of vulnerable young people, day in and day out.
“I look forward to meeting with carers at a brunch celebration in Perth and at regional events to acknowledge their dedication and ongoing efforts.
“Keeping children safe is a major priority for the McGowan Government and the Foster Care Refresh is working with carers and industry partners to identify opportunities to strengthen relationships with foster carers and the way we work together.
“The Government is listening, and is committed to constantly building partnerships with carers to improve life outcomes for children and young people in care.”