There are not enough foster carers in Queensland to meet the demand, with three times more children requiring care than there are available carers.
Data released by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women shows, that at March 31 this year, there were over 10,000 children requiring foster care in Queensland, but only 3500 foster carers.
The statistics are shocking and Regional Manager for Churches of Christ in Queensland Linda Smith told myGC they aren’t changing.
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“The number of children requiring care is increasing, and we are struggling to find carers for them,” she said.
“We don’t have enough carers that we can match children with in their own community.”
Ms Smith said they are in need of people who can offer different types of care.
“We have a shortage of people who can offer emergency care for children when they are first removed from their families,” she said.
“Often these children are traumatised, but we need somewhere they can go as quickly as possible at any time of day or night.
“The emergency care need is critical, as there is nowhere for children to go at night on the Gold Coast. We really need people who can open their hearts and their homes to look after these children until a permanent placement can be found.
“We also need carers that can give our permanent carers a weekend break from time to time, like respite care. These people become like extended family to our primary caregivers.”
A foster carer herself for over 20 years, Ms Smith said being a foster carer is a rewarding experience.
“If you ask carers why they do it, they all say it is because of the children. In a short period of time you can make such a difference in their lives,” she said.
“Sometimes it is tough, raising kids isn’t easy and raising someone else’s children is even harder, but when you see them thrive – that makes it worthwhile.”
Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can head along to a free information session on Wednesday 9 October. Churches of Christ in Queensland will be holding two sessions – 10:30am to 12:30pm and 5:30pm to 7:30pm – at 1 Griffith Way, Southport. To register and find out more, visit: FosterWithUs.com.au
Churches of Christ in Queensland is a leading provider of Foster Care and offer a broad range of services to children, young people and families throughout Queensland. These services include early childhood care, family support, foster care and transition to independence programs, with support provided based on the individual needs of children, young people, families and communities.