People interested in becoming foster carers can get the experience of attending an information session from the comfort of their lounge room, thanks to some quick thinking from the team in Anglicare Victoria’s South Metro Region.
“Because COVID-19 makes face-to-face meetings more challenging, we have embraced new ways of working to support those who need it most,” said Recruitment, Training and Retention Worker Tara King from AV South Metro.
“With foster carers in Victoria already in short supply, AV’s foster care teams could not afford to put recruitment of new carers on hold because of the pandemic. A virtual foster care information session was developed, which tries to capture the experience of being in the room at one of our events.
“We wanted to make it personable, informative and exciting, showing would-be carers that the team was approachable and passionate.
“Importantly, it also gives prospective foster carers the information and tools they needed to decide if they want to apply to be foster carers. We’ve been using the virtual info session for close to six weeks now and, despite not being able to hold traditional information sessions, the number of interested families we have engaged has remained steady,” she said.
Potential new foster carers have said they enjoy sharing the video with their family and going at their own pace during the virtual session. The team has received some really positive feedback:
-“We have watched the lovely video you sent through and were extremely impressed by its quality, particularly in the context of how quickly you have managed to pull it together! An outstanding showing for Anglicare Victoria and yourselves.”
-“Thank you. The video was very informative. Please advise the next steps.”
-“My husband and I watched the video last night and are still very keen to continue on this journey.”
Ms King said more foster carers are desperately needed and was excited by the potential of the video to reach more people during COVID-19.
“We’ve always spoken about having something virtual that people can access quickly and easily, and that also provides important information for would-be carers until they are able to attend a face-to-face session with us. An unexpected positive from COVID-19 was that it gave us a reason to get started on the video quickly.
“This is a resource that we’ll be able to use for many different purposes, even once we’re able to go back to a more normal way of recruiting foster carers. I have sent the video to all our current carers so they can pass on to anyone they know who had shown interest in becoming a carer as well – hopefully we receive some new enquires from that.
We have also emailed the link to lots of different schools to see if any teachers or support staff are interested in becoming carers too.”
If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, please find more information on our Foster Caring page.