The Andrews Labor Government is boosting the general carer allowance and making the system simpler for Victorians caring for our most vulnerable children.
The Labor Government is providing a $31.4 million funding boost – the biggest in a decade.
In Victoria, assessed and approved foster carers, kinship carers, permanent carers and special needs local adoptive parents are entitled to a care allowance.
A simplified rate structure will come into effect on 1 January 2016 and will see around 5,000 carers receive additional funds to help meet the needs of over 7,000 children and young people in their care.
The funds are provided as a contribution to the expenses incurred in providing care for children.
Under the changes, the vast majority of carers will receive an increase of more than $1,000 to their annual care allowance.
All carers will now receive the education and medical allowance as part of their fortnightly payments rather than as a quarterly reimbursement.
Arising from consultation with carers, the simplified care allowance structure is part of a broader reform agenda to improve consistency in the way financial support is provided.
A new statewide client support funding framework will be delivered in 2016 to ensure carers have fair and consistent access to additional funds to meet extraordinary expenses.
The Labor Government is also investing $3.2 million to attract, recruit and retain foster carers to ensure more children can be moved into home-based care.
This comes as the Labor Government is listening to carers’ concerns and ideas to make the system clearer and fairer, and giving them a bigger say in helping improve the lives of children in out-of-home care.
People interested in becoming a foster carer are encouraged to call 1800 013 088.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“We have listened to carers who said they wanted a simpler system and improved support.”
“This is the first step in a suite of improvements to support our 5,000 carers who open up their hearts and homes to over 7,000 of our most vulnerable children and young people.”