A new service which aims to support and maintain children living with family carers and reduce the number of children entering foster care has been awarded as part of the Department’s strategy to enhance out-of-home care. The Family Care Support Service will deliver intensive, in-home support to family carers to build stable family environments for children who cannot remain with their parents.

Family carers, including grandparents, aunties and uncles, make up more than 40 per cent of carers for children in out of home care.  The new service will help these carers to improve parenting routines and build capacity to safely care for the child or young person. This includes supporting the carer and child or young person to develop safe networks and remain connected to family, country and community.

The service will prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and include benefits such as building a stronger sense of belonging and cultural identity. Aboriginal community controlled organisations involved in delivering the service will play an important role in ensuring that family carers and children receive the most culturally appropriate support.

The Family Care Support Service will be provided across the Metropolitan area, East Kimberley, West Kimberley, Pilbara and Wheatbelt regional areas. The service will provide up to 12 months support per family.

Ms Jackie Tang, Assistant Director General Service Delivery Metropolitan Communities, believes this service will be important in providing safe, secure and sustainable placements for children.

“Family carers play an integral part in maintaining a strong connection to culture and family for Aboriginal children in care.

It is exciting to have a new service for family carers that will ultimately support better life outcomes for children in out-of-home care”.