· Queensland launches recruitment drive to attract foster carers
· 6,000 foster and kinship carer families have opened their hearts and homes to children in need
· More than 11,600 Queensland children are in out-of-home care
The Palaszczuk government’s recruitment drive for more foster carers shines a light on everyday people answering the call to provide stability and support for children in need.
Townsville-based foster carer Jodie is one of the carers featured in the We need more foster carers like you campaign that will appear on television, digital and social media channels across the state from this week.
The campaign presents authentic stories from foster carers that give valuable insights on what it’s like to be a foster carer.
Jodie, a single woman with a full-time professional career, shares her journey and joy of being a foster carer. She is one of more than 6,000 foster and kinship carer families in Queensland who have opened their hearts and homes to the state’s most vulnerable children. This includes married couples with their own children, single parent carers, and people from LGBTIQA+ community and First Nations peoples.
In Queensland, nearly 15,000 children are subject to ongoing intervention and over 11,600 children are in out-of-home care.
Training and support is provided to carers through specialist agencies and there is a tax-free fortnightly allowance towards the costs of fostering a child.
Foster carers Steve and Debbie’s lifelong commitment to caring for children was honoured at last week’s 2023 Child Protection Week Awards.
The Brisbane couple have cared and advocated for children with significant disability for 22 years and recently became adult guardians for an 18 year old as well as caring for a child who has extremely high medical needs.
They share a common commitment with carers across the state to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Queensland children and also feature in the recruitment campaign, sharing their wisdom.
Quotes attributable to Child Safety Minister Craig Crawford:
“Foster and kinship carers are the backbone of the child safety system and I am humbled by their work which we value enormously.
“I’m immensely proud of their dedication and commitment – our ability to respond to children in need simply would not be possible without them.
“Every four minutes Child Safety receives a report of concern for a child.
“I’ve met many of these children and I can tell you they share the same hopes and dreams of other young Queenslanders – one that is free of the harm, abuse and neglect.
“They yearn for love and care and they wish for a more ordinary life.
“Overwhelmingly they are grateful for the support they receive from carers and the child protection system designed to protect them.
“We need more carers to provide loving homes to these children who are unable to live in theirs – a home where they can get care, support and understanding.
“Queenslanders are known for their generosity and kindness – I want this campaign to inspire them to consider joining us in our important work to create brighter futures for kids in care.”
Quotes attributable to Townsville foster carer Jodie:
“I didn’t think I could become a foster carer because I was a single person all on my own with a career and working full time.
“After the first experience of just having one child on respite, I was in love.
“I wanted to have as many kids as I possibly could – it just melted my heart.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland Child Protection Week Award winners Steve and Debbie:
“Out of all the years, the majority of concern that keeps coming up is being scared of getting attached and then having to pass the children on,” Debbie said.
“Don’t let that stop you from thinking about becoming a foster carer because you’ve got to remember what impact you can put into that child’s life.
“As long as you’ve got that love, that care, that compassion and patience and time – you can become a carer.”
Steve added, “for people thinking about becoming carers, know the foster care training prepares you for it.
“We’ll keep doing it for as long as we can.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer should visit www.qld.gov.au/fostercare where you can watch stories from foster carers, learn more about it and express your interest to apply. If you would prefer to speak to someone directly, call Queensland Foster and Kinship Care on 1300 550 877.
Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Seniors and Disability Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford