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Wednesday, 13 September 2006
Page: 83


Senator BARTLETT (3:36 PM) —by leave—I, and also on behalf of Senators Siewert and McLucas, move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   10 September to 16 September 2006 is Foster Care Week in New South Wales,

(ii)   foster carers need access to training particularly to assist them to work with the growing number of children with special needs coming into their care,

(iii)   approximately 80 per cent of the children coming into care have significant emotional and social issues and disabilities, and

(iv)   many foster care agencies in Australia are struggling to meet the demands of foster carers and children in their care, due to the serious funding constraints and the lack of foster and kinship families;

(b)   urges the responsible governments to:

(i)   provide better funding and support to ensure that foster carers are given the specialised needs training they urgently require to cope with the growing number of children with special needs who are placed in their care, and

(ii)   reassess funding mechanisms to better align subsidy levels with the cost of caring, and

(iii)   give better recognition to the role of kinship carers in funding, legislation and regulation; and

(c)   acknowledges the exceptional services provided by foster and kinship carers.

Question agreed to.