The BCYF Foster a Future Appeal supports our Out of Home Care Service (OoHC) (Foster Care) initiatives benefiting children and young people aged 0-17 years from varying ethnicity from the Barwon South Western region of Victoria who are statutory Child Protection clients.
Victoria could have 27,500 children in out-of-home care by 2026; more than any other state and territory.*
Foster a Future is exciting and is making a real difference to children in care and in need of care. In 2021, BCYF recruitment initiatives increased foster care enquiries by 46%.
Foster a Future supports various initiatives that will provide support for current and future foster care families to help provide safe, more stable and longer term homes for children and young people needing care in our community.
Local demand for foster care placements exceeds placements available.
The link between entrenched social disadvantage and the demand for OoHC means that the Barwon Region is a particularly complex OoHC setting. There are currently 330 children and young people in OoHC in the Barwon region.
On average, BCYF receives three referrals per day to place children and young people with a Foster Carer. Approximately half of these requests cannot be met due to insufficient carers in the Barwon region.
Since 2018, Foster a Future has raised vital funds for foster care families and children across the Barwon Region through Out of Home Care (foster care) initiatives such as:
Foster Care Recruitment and Retention Project aims to increase the number of Foster care places available for vulnerable children and young people in the Barwon region in order to foster their healthy social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.
Our evidence based recruitment initiatives increase the number of Foster Carers to meet an increase in the number of children and young people requiring foster care; and
Our retention initiatives enhance the stability of foster care placements and Foster Carer retention through more placement support, helping to understand placement breakdown and Foster Carer attrition.
The Children’s Village Project is an exciting new initiative that aims to increase the number of safe, stable and longer term foster care placements for vulnerable children and young people in the Barwon Region in need of care.
Our initiative creates life opportunities for vulnerable children in BCYF’s Out of Home Care (foster care) program, and provide wraparound support for carer respite and wellbeing. It engages caring and dependable volunteers who are matched to foster families, to provide practical respite support to children and their carers, including childminding, helping with transport to school/extracurricular activities, tutoring, or mentoring.
Foster Care Week
The appeal launches each year in September during Foster Care Week alongside a recruitment campaign of “Can you be a Foster Carer?”
“Every child in our community should have a safe and stable home,” BCYF Chief Executive Officer Sandy Morrison said. “Donations to our Foster a Future Appeal will support our most vulnerable children who are in care.”
We know that not everybody can commit to being a Foster Carer, but by supporting Foster a Future, you are supporting us to provide more families, that can give the gift of a home for a child or young person needing care in our community.