‘A home for connection’. Carer shortage calls for more people to open their homes and hearts to the children and young people across NSW

Posted on 18 January 2023

Media Release
Tuesday 25th October 2022  

My Forever Family NSW supports foster, relative and kinship carers, guardians and adoptive parents across NSW to keep children and young people in their care safe.  Yet there remains a critical shortage of carers in the state with 15,895 children living in out-of-home care in NSW.

There remains a critical shortage of carers in NSW. Around 350 homes are needed right now for children and young people in care in NSW. These are children who can’t live safely with their family and need a safe and nurturing place to call home.

While it is a state-wide issue, numbers in regional areas are concerning. The Department of Communities and Justice NSW data for 2020 shows that 19 children and young people aged 0-17 per 1000 are living in out-of-home care in the Western NSW District compared with 9 in 1,000 across the whole of NSW.   

This data correlates with the 30 June 2021, AIHW report showing the rate of young people nationally in out-of-home care was twice as high in inner and outer regional areas as in major cities (13 and 6.7 per 1,000, respectively).

My Forever Family NSW is addressing the issue with a state-wide campaign focusing on the connection, warmth, safety, expression and learning children can find in a safe, nurturing home, and calling on those who have ever considered opening their home to reach out and find out more.

Renée Carter, CEO of Adopt Changeoperating the My Forever Family NSW program says, “The sad reality is, there are currently not enough carer homes for children who are unable to live with their family. We are encouraging people to consider becoming a carer and to reach out to find out more. Becoming a carer means opening your homes and lives to provide the everyday experiences of childhood in a safe and stable environment. Whilst we want these children and young people to find stability, no matter how long they stay with you, you can make a profound difference in their life, becoming part of their extended family and support network. As well as being able to provide a home in this way, the beautiful flow on effect is that you get to know some amazing young humans and watch them grow into who they are meant to be. Playing a part in nurturing them through that is a life-changing experience. ”

There are all types carer homes needed – including kinship and foster care (part-time, emergency and long-term), guardianship and adoption, which suit individual or family circumstances. Carers have the opportunity to care for children so that they can thrive and continue to form strong bonds with their families and community, providing unique support that can last a lifetime.

Carer Julie is passionate about providing a safe home for children and young people, and says, “It is an incredibly rewarding experience to open up your home and life to a child or young person. I’ve seen the difference it makes to a young life when they have that stability. To be able to provide that safe and nurturing home as well as being a person they can trust and turn to for support and encouragement throughout their life is priceless.” 

At My Forever Family NSW our focus is on ensuring every child has access to a safe, nurturing and stable family home, and that all families are provided with the appropriate supports for children to thrive.

You can find more information about becoming a carer for kids and My Forever Family NSW at www.myforeverfamily.org.au/

To view the state-wide campaign, visit [insert link to TVC]

~ END ~ For all media enquiries or to request an interview, please contact:
My Forever Family NSW Media team
P: (02) 9189 2020
E:media@myforeverfamily.org.au