Female Carers Deserve More 

News | Posted March 4, 2024
Female Carers Deserve More 

Imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. A world where female carers who take time out of their own lives are rewarded for it like any other job. 

In today’s world, women continue to face various challenges, including discrimination, gender-based violence, limited access to education and healthcare and unequal opportunities in the workforce. And although things are improving, there is still work to be done, and International Women’s Day provides a platform to address these issues, raise awareness and advocate for change. 

Volunteer carers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things for children and families in crisis, providing safe and loving homes for children to begin healing from trauma, with the goal of eventually returning home to their families or kin. The word voluntary is incredibly important to remember when discussing foster carers and kinship carers, because it’s often overlooked, forgotten or even unknown that carers are volunteers. 

Carers volunteer their time and homes to care for children and young people who need them most. However, with the allowance rate falling in real value month by month, many carers are forced to pay out of pocket on essentials like food, bills and services because they refuse to let the children in their care go without.  

However, it doesn’t stop there; working fewer hours to accommodate a child or young person means less income, less superannuation, less holiday leave and, equally important, less sick leave. 

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Count Her In, which examines the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere. Still, in today’s day and age, carers don’t get leave entitlement or an allowance that keeps up with inflation and other women who are receiving such benefits.  

The allowance carers receive has only increased by around 2% in the last two years, when household inflation was over 6% and 7% consecutively. With the number of care households available for children and young people decreasing and the number of foster and kinship care households exiting the system increasing in most areas, the average OzChild carer now has less than three years’ experience.  

We must ensure female caregivers are recognised, valued and empowered to fulfil their vital roles in nurturing the next generation. By championing the economic empowerment of female foster carers, we not only advance gender equality but also create a more just and compassionate society for all. 

We invite you to add your name to this petition to show your support in expecting better care for carers, children and young people in their care. If you would like to further your understanding of our position this campaign, please read OzChild’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa J. Griffiths, opinion piece on the matter here.

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Acknowledgement of Country

OzChild acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We acknowledge their cultures are living ones, which relate to their ongoing connection to all things living and non-living on land, sea and sky.

We pay our respect to Elders past and present.

May the children of today lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

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