The Duchess of Cambridge stepped out on Tuesday to honour London’s foster care community at an awards gala hosted by The Fostering Network. The Fostering Network is a charity organisation that works with foster carers to provide them with support to deliver care to children and young adults.
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) November 17, 2015
At the awards on Tuesday among the honourees were four children from age 6 to 15, all sons and daughters of foster carers who are celebrated for their advocacy of foster care. The older of the young award winners is involved in training potential foster families, talking to groups of children about his experience and being active in support groups.
Foster Carers Needed
Even though organisations like the Fostering Network offer extensive support to carers in the UK, it’s reported that at least 8,000 carers are still needed to provide homes for children at risk.
In Australia more than 43,009 children are living in out-of-home care, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2015) and in New Zealand 4,163.
Children in Need
Children and young adults in need of care come from complex family situations, they are likely to be the victims of domestic violence and or neglect, parental illness, disability or family crisis. Foster care provides a safe and caring environment temporarily, while a suitable permanent placement or adoption is found.
“Common issues in their families can be drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse.”
Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman Rally for Adoption Reform
Hollywood heavy-weight Hugh Jackman and his partner Deborra-lee Furness are using their celebrity to highlight the need for adoption law reform in Australia, making it easier to adopt children who have been in long term foster care. Furness argues that compared with other countries Australia is far behind in the rates of permanent adoption. The Furness/ Jackman family is now calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to speed up the local adoption process.