Finding homes for vulnerable children

More than 140 vulnerable children were supported across 34 safe homes across the Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains District following the NSW Government’s drive to increase the number of emergency foster carers across the state. 

Emergency foster carers provide a safe environment for a child or sibling group at short notice and mean fewer children end up in hotels and motels. 

Many emergency foster carers go on to become long term carers for children who cannot live safely with their own families. 

“The Liberal National government stopped recruiting foster carers ten years ago, increasingly relying on nongovernment organisations to place children with foster families,” said Member for Penrith Karen McKeown OAM.  

“Since then, thousands of children have been placed in high-cost emergency arrangements (HCEAs), including hotels, motels, and caravan parks because foster care placements could not be found. 

“The NSW Labor Government is determined to reduce the number of children going into these arrangements. HCEAs, first introduced under the former government, can cost upwards of $2 million a year for each child, costing taxpayers more than $38,000 a week. 

“Over the past twelve months, the government has been taking urgent action to address the issue through targeted foster care recruitment campaigns. This has resulted in the recruitment of 189 emergency foster care households, with another 145 carer households going through the eligibility process. 

“Already, this has seen 674 children placed in stable, loving homes across NSW instead of HCEAs, like hotels, motels and caravan parks. 

“Additionally, the NSW Labor government established an urgent review of the foster care system following a damning report that details the first-hand experiences of the state’s most vulnerable young people in HCEAs. It is expected to report back by the end of the year.”

To learn more about becoming an emergency foster carer with DCJ email