Bath questions Kinship Carer support in State Parliament

The Minister for Child Protection has been questioned if any of the recommendations from an Ombudsman’s 2017 Report into Kinship Carers have been implemented.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath echoed the concerns of Gippsland kinship carers in State Parliament last week that none of the seven recommendations from the ‘Financial Support Provided to Kinship Carers Report’ have been implemented.

“Kinship carers play an invaluable role supporting vulnerable children in our community and the Andrews Labor Government has had over 19 months to action the Ombudsman’s recommendations,” said Ms Bath.

“A key recommendation was for the State Government to provide adequate financial assistance to children living in all forms of out of home care.”

The report highlighted kinship care as the fastest growing form of out-of-home care in Victoria and asserts a ‘lack of financial support to carers can destroy the sustainability of kinship placements’.

“Kinship carers require an acceptable level of financial assistance from the State Government to cover the child’s day to day living expenses.

“I have spoken with kinship carers who’ve been forced to dip into their savings and superannuation to cover basic necessities such as school shoes, furniture and occupational and speech therapy”.

“The ongoing financial disadvantage faced by kinship carers under Daniel Andrews is unacceptable”.

The matter was raised on behalf of Gippsland charity, ‘A Better Life for Foster Kids’ who advocate and support Gippsland children living in all types of out of home care.

Ms Bath said there are serious concerns that the reports’ recommendations have not been implemented despite it being presented to State Parliament during December 2017.”

“It is imperative Labor recognise the value kinship carers play in our society and implement the report’s recommendations.”