Foster carers needed

By Country News

Shepparton foster care charity Berry Street has called for more carers in regional and remote areas.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Child Protection Australia 2017-18 report showed 42 per cent of children in regional areas were in out-of-home care.

The report showed children in remote areas also had the highest rates of abuse or neglect.

In Victoria’s Hume region, Berry Street has 39 foster carers who provide different types of care for 47 children, from short-term to long-term and respite care.

Berry Street carers Alan and Lindie Luckman from Yea have been foster carers for 28 years and regularly look after up to four children at a time, from newborns to six-year-olds.

“We will always have a place in our hearts and our home to provide care for children and young people in need,” they said.

“Fostering is a part of our identity and we can’t imagine not caring for children and young people.”

Berry Street Shepparton senior manager child and family services Sharelle Davidson said there were a lot of children in the Hume region that needed safe and secure homes.

“We are always looking for the right people to help us care for children who can’t live safely at home,” she said.

“Anyone over 21 can be a foster carer, as long as they have a spare room for a child.

“People with experience working with children or in community services, such as teachers, disability workers and aged care workers, make excellent carers, as do many others.”

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