- WA joins Victoria and ACT's calls for the Commonwealth to come to the table and improve support to foster carers and their experience receiving assistance
Child Protection and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk is calling on the Turnbull Government for more practical support for Western Australia's carers of children living in out-of-home care.
The issue of improving carers' access to support payments and advice was raised today at a Community Services Ministers meeting of State, Territory and Commonwealth ministers in Canberra.
Ms McGurk has joined calls, made by the Victorian and Australian Capital Territory governments, for the Commonwealth to come to the table and improve support to foster carers and their experience receiving assistance.
The submission made to the meeting includes:
- Proposals to broaden the scope and resources of Centrelink's Grandparent Advisory Line;
- Review income eligibility for foster carers seeking to access Family Tax Benefit payments; and
- A review of Centrelink claim forms to ensure that they are flexible enough for use by foster carers as well as parents.
Comments attributed to Child Protection and Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
"Foster carers are our lifelines; our most vulnerable children rely on them. They are selfless and put their own needs last.
"Improving their access to advice and payments, and reducing the red tape they all too often have to navigate through, is only fair.
"Carers come from all walks of life and represent the diversity of our Western Australian community. They really are our unsung heroes.
"As a State Government we are doing our bit to support them - it's now time for the Turnbull Government to step up to the plate and do their bit to make the carers' role easier, not more difficult."
Minister's office - 6552 6600