AUSTRALIAN KINSHIP CARERS NEED YOUR HELP
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ALL kinship carers must be recognised and provided with the same financial assistance, respect & support as foster carers. Legislated reimbursement is not paid if the child is deemed safe & the case is closed. Many kinship carers feed, clothe and pay for all medical expenses out of their own pocket, often raising 3 or more children on a pension. These children are their priority! Please make these vulnerable children YOUR PRIORITY.
A common scenario:- An infant is dropped off to you by the police at 2am in the morning. A quick phone call was the only warning. She has been removed from her parents (your kin) due to abuse or neglect or for safety reasons. This has become known as a "Drop & run". Child Protection, whether DHHS, DoCS, FaCS or whom ever, follow up in a few days and deem the child to be safe and close their case. You are left with an unsettled child, no funds, no support and many years later massive court costs to ensure that child remains safe and loved and cared for. This is one of many horror stories Kinship carers are forced to live through. Could you?
As many of you are aware the incidence of children being cared for by relatives or kin is increasing at an alarming rate in Australia. What you may not know is that many of these carers –Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles Etc- are doing so WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT from the government or non government organisations (NGOs). They receive no funding to assist with raising this child and many have no option other than to access their superannuation to support a safe environment for the child/ren and provide a life for them above the poverty line. Often having to give up their job, their lifestyle must change completely to accommodate the needs of the child. They do the same job as foster carers however they receive no acknowledgement, nor any financial assistance. They receive no legal aid as this is given to the biological parents to attempt to reunify with that child. Some of the parents of these children may have mental health issues or a history of drug abuse however they are not held accountable for their actions or lack of care for their child knowing that the government will support them in getting the child back even though no requirements have been met. Having a child is not a right it is a privilege. These innocent children are being abused by the system and being forced to return to their biological parent/s into an unsafe, and at times volatile environment where their needs are not being met and more psychological damage is being done before being returned to the kinship carer who then is faced with challenging behaviours and professional bills to attempt to repair the damage caused. There are no accurate statistics on how many kinship carers there are in Australia as many choose not to be known officially for fear of DHHS reprisals, and those that have had children placed in their care by DHHS have had their case closed (and therefore aren’t counted in statistics) due to the child being in a safe environment.
This is the next generation they are raising, to be productive, stable members of society. But they need your signature, to raise awareness, to change the system and to provide a life above the poverty line for Australia’s most vulnerable carers and children. Please sign and share to show your support.
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