Foster carer plea for Great Southern

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

The Great Southern is facing a “major shortage” of foster carers, resulting in children being moved to other regions in the State.

The Department of Communities has highlighted the shortage affecting the region, with 173 children in care in the Great Southern and an increasing demand for local foster carers.

The department’s Child Protection and Family Support office in Albany has renewed calls for more foster carers to come forward to fill the increasing demand.

Department of Communities district director Jan Wilkinson said the shortage of foster carers had resulted in children being placed in other regions, including Perth.

“There is a major shortage of foster carers in the Great Southern and this means that some children have to be placed in other districts, including the metro region,” she said.

“This makes it very difficult to arrange important contact visits between the children and their families.

“The Department of Communities hopes that by promoting the idea of people becoming foster carers, we’ll be able to increase the number of carers available to support children who come into care and, hopefully, fewer children will need to be placed outside of their own familiar and safe environments.”

Ms Wilkinson said there was hope two foster carer information sessions to be held this week would give people a greater understanding of the important role they could play in a child’s life.

“We also hope the information sessions encourage those who attend to talk broadly to other potential applicants — relatives and friends — about fostering,” she said. “Overall, these sessions provide an opportunity to build understanding and knowledge in the community of the value and importance of fostering, for foster children and foster families alike.”

The foster carer information sessions will be held tomorrow from 7pm-9pm and on Fridayfrom 10am-noon at 25 Duke Street, Albany. To register call 9841 0777.

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