14 September 2020
This Foster and Kinship Carer Week (13-19 September), Life Without Barriers is celebrating the significant role foster and kinship carers play in supporting the education of children and young people in care.
In many circumstances, educational outcomes for children in care are lower than the general population, with many children experiencing multiple disruptions to the continuity of their education.
Children in care are more likely to leave school earlier, perform below their grade level academically and have behavioural difficulties that impact on their education.
“However, we know that caring foster carers can make a real difference to the lives of children in care,” Life Without Barriers Executive Director Children, Youth and Families, Jane French said.
“Research consistently shows that for children to do well with their education, it’s important that they are living in a safe and kind family environment where education is valued, and they feel like they belong.”
Ms French said Life Without Barriers was looking for dedicated and caring foster carers who were willing to work with children and young people to understand their learning needs.
“Foster carers play a vital role in ensuring kids in care have good educational experiences,” Ms French said.
“Children in care have often been through difficult life circumstances and may have experienced trauma, so we need empathetic people who are understanding of behavioural issues, can advocate for children’s needs at school and build positive relationships with teachers and staff.
“We welcome individuals and families from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds or marital status – single parents, same sex couples, de facto or married couples, with or without children – who are willing to open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children and young people in our communities.”
“We’re less concerned about age, income or relationship. We need carers with attributes and beliefs we know are good for children, including an ability to understand the value and role of education in a child’s life.”
Life Without Barriers is looking for carers for children of all age groups and abilities, some of whom may have complex needs or disabilities.
Potential carers will need to undergo background checks prior to being authorised and will need to have a spare bedroom in their residence so that children can feel secure in their own space. Life Without Barriers will provide full carer training and on-call support 24 hours a day.