CREATE Foundation, Australia’s peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with a care experience, echoes concerns raised in the recent article published in The Sydney Morning Herald on September 10, 2023. For too long we’ve accepted the lack of placement options in family based care and are turning a blind eye on the less than ideal placement options experienced by many children and young people.
CREATE Foundation CEO, Jacqui Reed, affirmed, “Simply put, they deserve better.”
The critical problem is further exacerbated by the lack of long-term planning to address the shortage of suitable placements for vulnerable children and young people. The rising cost of living has significantly impacted society as a whole, and more needs to be done to attract potential foster carers and provide them with the necessary financial support they require.
“It’s high time we think outside the box to elevate the significance of foster carers within a system that heavily depends on them to offer loving and nurturing alternative homes for vulnerable children and young people,” emphasized Ms. Reed.
Valuing carers for their contribution, and supporting them more to take on this valuable role is essential, especially to keep experienced foster carers within the system. All too often we hear that the journey for foster carers is challenging, they feel unsupported and require more training to be able to feel confident in the role.
“We must safeguard the system and take proactive steps to retain existing foster carers while attracting new ones,” reiterated Ms. Reed.
Young people tell us repeatedly about the impact that multiple placements have on their lives. Add to this, that many are separated from siblings in the process, this makes the experience for children and young people even more damaging and creates another layer of angst for them. The instability resulting from temporary accommodation is unacceptable within a system designed to protect vulnerable children and young people.
For further comment from CREATE’s Chief Executive, Ms Jacqui Reed, and/or a young person with care experience contact:
Erin Laing, National Media and Marketing Coordinator
Erin.email@example.com or 0401 880 522
About CREATE Foundation:
CREATE Foundation is the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience (including kinship care, foster care and residential care). CREATE develops policy and research to report on and advocate for a better care system.
Key statistics on the care sector in Australia:
- 46,212 children and young people were reported in 2020-21 as living in out-of-home care across Australia (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2022).
- Young people in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely to be under a youth justice order than the general population.
- 30% of young people experience homelessness within the first year of leaving care. (McDowall, 2020).
- 38% of young people have been involved with the justice system.
- 30% of young people who have left care or preparing to leave care are unemployed.
- 36% children and young people in care do not live with any of their siblings.
- 35% of young people in care have five or more caseworkers during their time in care.
- 67% of young people in care over the age of 15 are not aware of having a leaving care plan.
McDowall, J. J. (2018). Out-of-home care in Australia: Children and young people’s views after five years of National Standards. CREATE Foundation.
McDowall, J. J. (2020). Transitioning to adulthood from out-of-home care: Independence or interdependence? CREATE Foundation.