The Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to strengthen foster families and enhance the well being of children in their care. Ongoing under-resourcing and neglect has left the Victorian foster care system in danger of collapse, with urgent reforms needed to deliver sustainable care options for children in the future.
To raise awareness of the importance of reform, FCAV and a coalition of foster care agencies have launched a campaign to save foster care. As part of this advocacy campaign, FCAV are running a Pozible crowdfunding campaign, which ends on Friday 28 November, to gain greater recognition and funding support to better support Victorian carers. If successful, the project will help FCAV update their website, add and staff a ‘live chat’ function for 2 years and develop two advocacy communiques to carers.
Meet Krysia Rozanska
Melbourne foster carer Krysia Rozanska is the face behind the campaign. After seeing a close family friend’s involvement in foster care for more than 15 years, Krysia decided to get involved. She moved from the UK to Melbourne with her partner into a lovely, kid-friendly home and got in contact with the Foster Care Association of Victoria for advice and support.
Krysia has since been involved with the Foster Care Association of Victoria for more than two years, initially joining the marketing department and now sitting on the organisation’s board. Having always been interested in crowdfunding, Krysia got in touch with Pozible and launched the Save Foster Care campaign.
“It is becoming harder to be a foster carer. Day to day challenges are expected, but the Victorian system is not offering carers the support they need,” said Ms Rozanska.
“There are too many kids and not enough carers – children in our community deserve better.”
A system in crisis
There are more than 6,500 children living in out-of-home care in Victoria, and it’s expected that more than 500 extra children will require care each year. Despite this, more than 600 carers left the state’s foster care system in the last year and yet only 442 were recruited to take their place.
Foster carers in Victoria receive the lowest reimbursement rate in Australia which covers the day-to-day costs needed to care for children in the long term. This covers basic material needs including food, transport, clothing and other requirements.
“Foster carers are volunteers – they give their time, their home and many subsidise the cost of caring for vulnerable children by as much as $5,356 a year out of their own pockets,” said Ms Rozanska. “Children need safety, stability, the opportunity to heal, recover and access to a good education.”
As the Victorian state election looms this weekend perhaps consider where each of the major parties stand on the issue of foster care.
Pledge your support
With 3 days to go, the Save Foster Care Pozible campaign is calling for people to pledge and share its message with their networks.
To join the campaign, please visit our project page before Friday 28 November.