The Benevolent Society’s Fostering Young Lives program is seeking emergency short foster carers across Sydney.

Out of Home Care refers to the formal care of infants, children and young people up to 18 years of age who are unable to live safely at home. Although Fostering Young Lives has a strong desire for children and young people to be with their family wherever possible, it is sometimes not always immediately possible.

Fostering Young Lives Senior Practitioner Aimee says the team are dedicated to finding foster carers to provide children with safe, stable and nurturing homes with early intervention services available to support children to return home when it is safe for them to do so.

“There are so many reasons why children come into foster care. We see lots of children who have experienced abuse whether that’s physical, emotional, or severe neglect. Children may also experience domestic violence in their homes and poverty.” Says Aimee.

Fostering Young Lives Senior Practitioner Aimee

Image: Fostering Young Lives Program Senior Practitioner, Aimee

Short to medium term care can last anywhere from a few months up to two years and the type of care has a strong focus on reuniting children with their parents or extended family within two years. Although the team try to place children with family members or kin carers, it can sometimes not always achievable.

“At the Benevolent Society we strongly believe that children should be with family wherever possible and when children are removed from their family, we always want to try to return back there which is why short-term carers are so urgently needed.” Says Aimee.

There are currently over 15,000 children who need a safe place to call home and only 9,000 kinship foster carers with this set to continue to grow.

“We have never needed short term foster carers as much as we do currently”. Says Aimee.

Foster Carers can be from any background or culture and are encouraged, equipped and supported throughout their caring journey. Some of the supports include regular home visits, meetings with the carers case manager as well as on-call support.

“Our short-term carers can expect to be really supported by The Benevolent Society with 24 hour on call support. We also offer a fortnightly care allowance to cover the costs to look after the child and we also have practice specialists and therapeutic support available”. Said Aimee.

The role of foster carers is to advocate on behalf of the child, support their education, health and social and emotional wellbeing. Once an individual begins the journey to be a foster carer, they will be guided through the process by their foster carer assessor to ensure they are kept informed every step of the way.

“It takes a really wonderful and special person to be able to welcome these children into their home and to be able to provide that safety – there’s no greater reward even if that child is with you for a short period of time, a carer can make such a massive impact on a child”. Says Aimee.

Hear more from Aimee on the crucial need for short-term foster carers below!


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