Fostering with CatholicCare
Anyone can change a life and make a difference and we are committed to providing the very best support for our foster carers and children in their care.
The Central Coast has a population of around 337,000 and with 74,500 people under the age of 18. In 2017, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services recorded almost 5,000 instances of children and young people being subject to significant risk of harm on the Central Coast, a figure almost 25% higher than the state average.
Across the region there are almost 1,300 children and young people in Out of Home Care – foster care, group homes or supported care with kin or relatives. This is also far above the state average.
We need foster carers!
Andrea & Cecilia share their foster care journey. Plus Bishop Anthony encourages those in our community to consider opening their hearts and homes to children in need.
The Northern Sydney and Northern Beaches area also faces its own challenges and we need local support. On any given night of the week, children are facing stays in hotels with paid workers or travelling up to the Central Coast due to the lack of suitable foster homes in the area. Children over the age of five struggle to find a foster home because many people consider them ‘too old and in the system too long’. Kids come into care at all stages and they all need loving homes.
That means if you have a child, or niece or nephew or grandchild who are school age, chances are they share a classroom or a desk at school with a child in this situation. It’s a problem with a range of social factors contributing to the numbers of children and young people entering care – most commonly domestic violence and abuse and neglect. The impact is often lifelong. These children and young people are more likely to end up in the youth justice system and have far poorer education, employment and health outcomes. They will likely enter a cycle of social disadvantage that is difficult to escape, with potential impacts on their own children.
We need to turn this around. What can we do?
Fostering is a practical way we can support children and young people who need a temporary or full-time home while their family is supported to make the necessary changes for their safe return home. At any given time, there are dozens of children on the Central Coast who require foster care. At times, these children are housed in hotel accommodation with support workers because of a shortage of foster carers.
CatholicCare foster carers receive:
- A financial allowance to assist with the day-to-day needs of the child/young person. This allowance helps to cover day-to-day expenses for the child such as food, clothing, education, travel and leisure activities.
- Comprehensive ongoing training, counselling and support including the opportunity to meet with other carers and our staff to share experiences, develop networks and form friendships.
- A dedicated case manager and 24/7 support. Each foster family is allocated a case manager to provide support to carers through regular home visits and phone calls. There is also an after-hours on-call service for crisis or emergency situations.
- Social functions and events.
CatholicCare has a comprehensive process for endeavouring to find the best match for children with a family, and you are an active participant.
If you live on the Central Coast, Northern Beaches, Greater North Shore or in the Northern Sydney districts and are interested in finding out more, please contact us.
CatholicCare Foster Care
P: (02) 4320 7777