A little of your time can change an entire life.
In Victoria, the number of children who cannot live safely at home has risen every year over the last ten years. Traumatised and neglected children need carers to provide a safe and nurturing home. With your help they can heal and look forward to the future.
The need for Carers in Victoria is rising
Nearly 9,000 children cannot safely live with their own parents.
This equates to 6.6 children in every 1,000.
Since 2011, this number has increased by 50.9% in Victoria vs. a 15.3% increase nationally.
46% of all Australian children going into Care are under 5 years old.
John's second birthday
John has had a rough start to life. At 18 months, he couldn’t walk, make sound, endure eye contact or acknowledge human presence.
With the love, persistence and expertise of his foster carers and the team supporting them, John has been able to make up the progress he had lost. He celebrated his second birthday as every two-year-old should – curious, feeling loved and engaged in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Foster Care?
Foster Carers look after children when they are unable to live with their birth family due to violence, abuse and neglect. It can be for a few days, a few weeks or for much longer.
Wherever possible, the plan is to reunify children with their birth families eventually, providing this is in the best interests of the child.
Could I be a Foster Carer?
At Berry Street, our foster carers are wonderfully diverse in terms of age, background, sexual orientation, relationship status and experience. We welcome carers from all backgrounds, cultures and experiences - married, single, or same-sex couples, with or without children, divorced or de facto.
If you are over 21 and can offer a child or young person a safe and nurturing home environment, we will welcome your application.
What will I receive?
As a Foster Carer, you will receive:
- 24 hour support and practical help from a dedicated team of experienced Berry Street professionals
- financial support in the form of a fortnightly, tax-free reimbursement
- ongoing training and access to support programs to help develop skills you will use as a Foster Carer
Can I choose the type of Foster Care that I provide?
We are seeking carers to provide:
- Respite care (one or two weekends a month)
- Emergency care (for children who require an immediate placement)
- Short-term care (less than six months)
- Long-term care (more than six months)
You can nominate the type of care you would like to provide and, as part of the application process, Berry Street will work with you to help you make a final decision on the option that best suits you.
Thanks to the volunteer models who appear in our images to protect the identity of our clients. Names in client stories have been changed also in the interest of protection and privacy.