Fostering with Pride Snapshot
The number of children and young people entering out-of-home care is increasing at an alarming rate. However, there has been no corresponding increase in the number of foster carers. Retention of existing carers is also becoming more challenging as the carer population ages, foster children have increasingly complex needs, and the financial compensation, training and support for foster carers remains inadequate.
As the need for new foster carers becomes urgent, foster care organisations are increasingly looking to previously untapped sources of foster carers. Two of Australia’s oldest and largest child and family welfare organisations, The Benevolent Society and Berry Street, both openly and actively recruit foster carers – couples and singles - from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities in New South Wales and Victoria. Being ‘out’ about targeted recruitment of LGBTI foster carers is far from the norm, however, within Australian foster care agencies. While many agencies accept applications from prospective LGBTI carers, very few actively and explicitly recruit from this group.
Berry Street and The Benevolent Society partnered this year to undertake a project to:
- understand the journey each organisation underwent in making the transition to open targeted recruitment of LGBTI foster carers;
- describe and understand each organisation’s recruitment campaign and the effectiveness of their marketing strategies; and
- understand what barriers LGBTI foster carers anticipated, or actually experienced as carers, and what supports they valued and experienced.
Free download available:
- Fostering with Pride Snapshot - 8 page PDF file