THE Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward has reversed her decision to slash payments to Illawarra foster parents by $6,000 a year.
State MP for Keira Ryan Park has welcomed the backdown, saying he warned it was a terrible policy and that it didn’t make sense.
“It was a mean policy… The foster parents in our region are the unsung heroes of the community and to slash their payments was ridiculous,” Mr Park said.
Earlier this month Ms Goward announced a reduction in payments for carers from $836 to just $214 a fortnight.
“This was just another way she showed how disconnected from the community she really was,” he said.
“These parents are out there trying to do the right thing by helping these kids who often need intensive medical treatment and counselling. For the Liberal Government to walk away from them was shameful.”
The Ministers’ advice to the carers was to negotiate payments from the child in their care,” he said.
“Expecting the children to be responsible for contributing to the everyday household expenses was simply ludicrous.
After community pressure the Minister has announced the Government will provide the carers with an annual lump sum payment of up to $6,000.
“This is a small reprieve for families when we all know how tight the home budget is,” Mr Park said.