With Victoria facing a critical shortage of foster carers, Transdev Melbourne has partnered with MacKillop Family Services to raise awareness of this important cause.
Last year in Victoria, over 10,000 kids were in child protection and if current trends continue, the number is predicted to further rise.
MacKillop is one of a number of community organisations that work hard to recruit, train and accredit foster carers to provide safe and supportive homes for kids who cannot live at home temporarily through no fault of their own.
Kids come into care at all ages, from babies to seventeen year olds, across all cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Kids in foster care have typically experienced some form of neglect, abuse or trauma.
“Each year, the number of children and young people needing foster care grows, but sadly the number of foster carers is not keeping pace,” said Sam Patterson, Director of Community Engagement at MacKillop Family Services.
“People from all walks of life can be foster carers; as long as they can provide a safe, nurturing, home environment they can make a huge difference to a vulnerable child’s life.
“Foster carers can be single or have a partner, can come from any culture or religion and can own or rent their home. The most important thing is that they want to support children to heal from past trauma and develop to their potential,” said Mr Patterson.
During Foster Care Week this year (8-14 September), Transdev are working with MacKillop to raise awareness of the need for foster carers through advertising on board its buses and digital billboards in key locations across Melbourne. They are also providing financial support.
“We are extremely grateful for Transdev’s support – we’re always looking for opportunities to partner with community-minded organisations that can help us raise awareness of this important issue,” said Mr Patterson.
Transdev’s Chief Officer Bus Operations, Ian Craig said that Transdev was immensely proud to be supporting such a worthwhile cause.
“We strongly believe in giving back to the communities in which we operate, and what better way of doing that than supporting MacKillop to find more foster carers to provide homes for Aussie kids in need,” said Mr Craig.
“Growing up, my parents chose to be foster carers for a number of years and I know firsthand the difference it can make in a child’s life.
“We hope some of our customers might be prompted to consider if they could provide a safe, stable home for a child in need and take the next step to find out more.”
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a foster carer, you can contact MacKillop on 1300 791 677 or mackillop.org.au/fostercare