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A Morwell based welfare agency has issued an impassioned plea for locals to consider foster care as it battles to keep up with demand.
Quantum Support Services currently has 40 foster care families between Stratford and Narre Warren, and Korumburra to the south.
But it gets between 10 and 20 referrals for foster care each week.
“Of that, we might be able to place two to three children,” Quantum recruitment and training officer Fiona Nelson said.
Ms Nelson said when children could not be placed in the local area, a placement would be sought across the state.
“Being taken away from all they know and all that’s familiar, they have to change schools, it has a major impact because these are children coming from a trauma background,” Ms Nelson said.
“It may be that their school has been the only thing consistent in their lives. We’re damaging the attachments in their lives.”
Ms Nelson said Quantum welcomed foster carers from all walks of life including older people, same sex couples and people who worked full time.
She said carers could specify the age and gender of the child they would care for, whether they wanted to provide long-term or respite care, or look after multiple children.
“Being a foster carer isn’t an easy thing to take on. But for all the challenges faced, there are a lot of rewards.”
Ms Nelson said carers also had access to 24-hour support through on-call Quantum workers.
Foster care is also provided through other Latrobe Valley agencies including Berry Street, Anglicare, Uniting Care, Salvation Army Gippscare and the Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative.
Anybody interested in becoming a foster carer through Quantum Support Services should phone 5120 2000, or freecall 1800 243 455.