Our foster care system is struggling.
In 2015 there were 43,399 children under 18 living in various types of foster care.
Just ten years earlier there were 25,454.
The numbers have nearly doubled.
Reports made to Child Protective services have been rising dramatically since 2011, from 250 000 reports to 350 000 reports in the space of five years.
The NSW State Government is overwhelmed with the number of children requiring Out of Home Care (OOHC).
The latest data (from 2015) runs through the percentage of children in different types of care.
NSW – 16 843 children in out of home care. Beneath is the breakdown of living arrangements.
Foster Care – 47.1%
Relatives/Kin – 49.1%
Family Group Homes – 0.1%
Residential Care – 3.3%
Independent Living 0.4%
Private corporations are making millions of dollars from these children.
Today, NSW holds the record with the most children in State care by far, nearly half of the whole country’s wards. Up to 40% are indigenous children. (Indigenous people make up only 2% of the State’s population.) Indigenous children in care are massively over-represented. That’s a fact.
60% of homeless people have been in foster care at some stage.
Billions of taxpayer dollars have gone into funding programs which have seen little to no proof of success. Nothing seems to change. The numbers keep growing.
The NSW Government created a protection reform – Keep Them Safe – as a response to the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW. This reform resulted in a financial commitment of $750 million over five years, with the aim of providing our vulnerable children with an improved system to help break the cycle of living in out of home care.
This reform is significantly invested in providing more prevention and early intervention tactics.
Approximately $220 million is dedicated to out of home care.
The system is flawed, and it’s damaging the next generations to come. We need to push our government to do more for our vulnerable foster children.