ALMOST 80 per cent of Victorians consider that the level of financial reimbursements provided to Victoria’s foster carers is ‘unfair’, shows a poll released today by children’s charity, Berry Street.
As Victoria’s largest child and family services organisation, Berry Street polled 643 Victorians*. Respondents were also asked to estimate the weekly cost of raising a 10 year old foster child, which they underestimated, and how much the State Government reimbursed them to cover these costs.
The true cost of raising a 10 year old child in foster care is estimated to be $265 a week by the University of New South Wales’ Social Policy Research Centre.
Foster carers in Victoria are reimbursed just $165 a week to care for a 10 year old. This is $100 less than the actual costs to carers. Victoria’s reimbursement rate is the lowest in the country.
Berry Street CEO, Sandie de Wolf AM, argues that the situation is dire, “If we don’t see significant reform of Victoria’s foster care system it is likely to collapse within the next five years. Victoria is the only state or territory which continues to lose more foster carers than it gains.
“In the lead up to the 2014 State election Berry Street and The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) are asking the State Government and Opposition to commit to increasing carer reimbursements and covering all expenses related to the care of children in foster care.”
For more information and for interested readers to get involved and easily send an advocacy email their local State MPs and Candidates please visit: http://www.savefostercare.org.au/
Source: Berry Street