Speak to any foster carer and they’ll tell you exactly the same thing – it’s not about the money.
These people are a special breed. They put the needs of strangers before their own and take on a job most of us can’t imagine.
Melbourne foster carer Krysia Rozanska is one of those special people.
She has a young boy in her permanent care and is in the board of the Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV).
But there’s not enough like her.
More than 600 carers left the state’s foster care system in the last year yet only 442 were recruited to take their place.
There are 6500 children living in out-of-home care in Victoria.
Ms Rozanska wants foster carers to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“There are too many kids going in to care and not enough carers,” she said.
A Pozible crowdfunding campaign, which ends on Friday, November 28, aims to raise money to help better support these carers, by adding and staffing a live chat function to a more user-friendly FCAV website and to advocate – especially during the current State Election campaign – for greater recognition and funding support for Victorian carers.
The crowd funding target is $11,000 and there’s still about $5000 to go.
“We’ll all tell you, it’s not about the money,” Ms Rozanska said.
“But there needs to be better reimbursements for the day-to-day cost of caring.
“Victoria has the lowest (rate of) reimbursements in Australia.
“There needs to be better support.”
Ms Rozanska started as a foster carer after hearing of the experiences of a friend who was a foster carer.
“Then I got involved (in FCAV) because I needed help,” she said.
“I couldn’t have done all this without them.”
Fast-forward a few years and Ms Rozanska is the woman behind the association’s Pozible campaign.
“People care about this issue but think it’s been taken care of,” she said.
“We need to hear that we’re valued.
“If we get more people involved then our voice will be heard.
“We’re the advocates for these kids. They don’t have a voice.”
The Foster Care Association of Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation that helps to strengthen foster families and enhance the wellbeing of children in their care.
To read more about the campaign or make a donation, click here
View the 2014 State Election scorecard