Every night in Gippsland there are hundreds of children in need of a safe home. A disproportionate number of these children are Aboriginal.
At GEGAC, we are driven by the belief that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children should have a safe, supportive and culturally appropriate home.
Ideally this should be with the child’s mother, father, or close relatives.
However, it is not a perfect world, and we know this is not always possible.
Our Out-of-Home Care team operates a number of programs that strive to provide safe, supportive and culturally appropriate homes for children that need shelter, including supporting family members to become carers, and training and supporting both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal foster carers.
There’s more information about those programs and services below.
We acknowledge that colonisation, dispossession, child removal and other discriminatory government policies of the past have resulted in significant intergenerational trauma, structural disadvantage and racism with long-lasting and far-reaching consequences.
Which is why we work hard to support Aboriginal parents and families, find safe and supportive homes within their community whenever possible, and train all carers on how to help children stay connected to culture and community.
We support many Boorai from Gurnaikurnai Country, but we also know that many Aboriginal Boorai living on Gunaikurnai Country come from traditional lands all over Victoria, such as Yorta Yorta, Wadda Wurrung or Wurundjeri.
We work to ensure their cultural support is consistent with their Country’s traditions.
What we need is simple: Responsible and compassionate adults that can provide a safe home for a child that needs one.
We provide full training and close support to would-be carers, and you’ll have a dedicated case-manager to help you every step of the way.
If this sounds like you, or if you’d just like to learn more about becoming a carer, reach out to us by filling in the form below.
One of our Out-of-Home Care team members will get back to you.
Thank you for your interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a foster carer?
What matters most is that you can offer stability and support to a child or young person while they cannot live at home.
To be a foster carer you need to:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a spare bedroom
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (in some cases non-permanent residents can become foster carers for emergency and respite placements)
- Be able to pass relevant background checks
People from all backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to apply to become foster carers.
Do I have to be Aboriginal to foster an Aboriginal child?
Whilst the best outcome is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to remain in the care of their community, sometimes this is not always possible.
Foster carers from all cultural backgrounds who can create a culturally safe and supportive environment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children are encouraged to apply.
Ready to take the next step?
If you’re eligible and ready to apply to become a foster carer or want to learn more about the process, give us a call GEGAC’s Out-of-Home Care team on 5150 0712, or use our online form, above.
Some Other Programs at GEGAC
Koorie Kare (Home Based Care)
Koorie Kare assists Foster Carers to manage ongoing and emerging concerns for the child, and is for all children who reside in out of Home Care on a statutory order.
Kinship Case Contracting
A Kinship Case Contracting worker helps meet the child’s safety, stability and developmental needs, while ensuring the child’s right to their culture and community is supported.
Kinship First Supports
Our Kinship First Supports program completes comprehensive kinship assessments to identify the strengths within kinship placements, and identifies where further supports are needed for both kinship carers and children.
Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making
The Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making program is designed to assist with providing a culturally safe space for Aboriginal families to come together, where they can create an individualised plan on how best to support the children and their needs.
Cultural Support Planning
The Cultural Support Planning program aims to strengthen a child’s cultural identity while implementing supports that help to enable connection to family, community and culture.