Recently the New South Wales government cut the Foster Care Allowance for over 16s by more than $200 per fortnight.
In the last ten years the number of foster carers has halved, while the number of children in need of care has gone up by almost 50 per cent. While this is not the first funding cut foster parents have had to manage in the last few years it has brought to light the financial discrepancies between what foster parents receive from the government and the costs associated with raising a foster child.
Tracey Cocks, vice-president of the Foster Carers Association of Victoria, was recently asked to calculate her out of pocket expenses as part of a state inquiry into the cost of foster care. Tracey fosters four young children, and was surprised to find that it was costing her $65,000 every year after tax and government reimbursements. She suggested that once people discover how expensive being a foster parent is, it would be almost impossible to get new recruits into the system.
You can read the full article on the cost of caring at The Age Online website.
Or read what the New South Wales Community Services Minister has to say about her decision to cut funding by $200 in the Sydney Morning Herald’s article Parents’ foster child payments rejected.
To find out how you can get involved in fostering visit the Australian Foster Care Association website.
Have your say
What do you think? Are governments cutting funding in all the wrong places, or should foster families only get involved if they can afford to financially support the children themselves? Read Rachel’s blog post It takes a village and tell us your opinion. Would you become a foster parent?