Monday, May 24, 2010

Carer Allowance

Just had a really interesting discussion on the Facebook FanPage. Here is the post that started it . . .

Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids How much do you think a foster carer receives each fortnight in allowance for the care of an average 4 year old?Remember, you have to - send the child to daycare if needed, feed them, buy them clothes, toys, drive them to drop off and pickup points for family contact, take them to activities that you would normally take... a 4 year old to, like dancing, soccer, kindygym, music, playdates etc.

My answer, as I understand it, was this:

Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids The payment is about $400 for a child birth to 5 years. Daycare where I live is about $60-$70 a day and if they are going to kindy it's about $800 a term. There is a one off start up allowance of about $80, but you only get that if the child is going to be with you for a certain amount of time. There is also a remote loading of about $40 a fortnight and here's the big one! an establishment payment, one off of about $400. To be entitled to that the child must be a primary placement, this means you are their primary carer, not respite, not on a month's order from the court or any other timeframe. But, carers have kids placed with them while a more suitable primary placement is being found and could have kids in their care for over 3 months!
So, basically, $400 a fortnight to cover all the costs that were mentioned earlier.

 Here is a link to the Office of Child Safety QLD.

This next link tells you exactly what a foster or kinship carer can expect as an allowance per fortnight.

 It was a really interesting conversation between quite a few fans and I think there is still a big difference in how each state assists their approved carers. I heard stories of people in Qld, (many, many years ago), getting their mortgages paid, extensions on their homes, cars bought for them and so on. I've been told this doesn't happen anymore but I'm not entirely sure this is a good thing, especially if kinship carers are willing to take on 3 or 4 cousins along with their own 3 kids!

But, I digress, the real point of the discussion was to bring to light the fact that carers put themselves in financial difficulty to keep placements going. Yes carers need to be financially stable, but when dealing with a government department payroll system . . .  well, need I mention Qld Health as an example! Things aren't that bad, but there are times when carers need cash up front that they just don't have, or have to borrow from family and friends because the dept. is 'unable' to cover that cost. 

I'll probably get into trouble for this post but I'm not saying anything carers don't say to eachother.

However, I want to make it clear -  caring for kids in this way is an extremely rewarding and very challenging life choice. I know that people still do it with no govt. assistance for their relatives or grandkids. I'm not complaining, just letting people know, carers are very special people with hearts and homes as big as the sun! (For the most part anyway).

Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or disagree, I'd like to know your thoughts.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Voucher offer for donations

4 L'il Darlins is running this promo! 

"Backpacks for Aussie kids needs donations for toiletry items for kids that go into emergency care. Sadly, there are many foster children that need help. Our family is making a donation, and I will give every person/family who donates
items to this cause, a $20 gift voucher to use at any time in our store. Please see the list below for items needed and details."

Chris, owner and creator 4 L'il Darlins

A very generous offer from a very generous woman. Chris has always given a helping hand to raise funds for B4AK. For Easter she raised $60 for the project by creating a very special Easter clip collection just for us.

Make sure you have plenty of time when you visit the website, there are just so many pretty things to look at. You'll be there for ages checking everything out! I've included some pictures from the site below.

Remember, Chris is offering a $20 gift voucher for people who donate. I hope people take up this very generous offer, everyone get something out of this, we get donations, Chris gets some excellent word of mouth feedback and you get $20 worth of accessories!

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