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Housing and Homelessness nonprofit Youth Social Affairs

Australian charity renews urgent plea for more foster carers to address Youth Homelessness

2 min read
foster carers

Australian charity renews calls for more people to become foster carers, to help provide a practical step to address youth homelessness.  

Lighthouse Foundation reports a 54 per cent (%) increase in its number of foster carers in a single year but many more are needed.  

Youth Homelessness Matters Day and Lighthouse Foundation has been helping young people facing homelessness in Melbourne for more than 31 years.  

Eight out of 10 young people who go through Lighthouse’s programs break the cycle of homelessness. The charity has had a record year, giving care to 71 young people, children, and babies, providing them with 77,000 meals, and 3,285 nights in safe beds for children in foster care.  

Lighthouse Foundation is currently recruiting more foster carers across Melbourne’s northern and southern suburbs.  

“Foster Care has a significant role in the tomorrow of youth homelessness,” said Dr Eamonn McCarthy, Lighthouse Foundation CEO.  

Dr McCarthy highlighted that effective foster care was an important preventative measure to stop more people from ending up on the streets.  

“Almost 80 per cent of young people who came into our care over the last financial year had some form of child protection involvement in their past. Given we know there is an increased number of children in child protection now compared with previous years, that means there’ll be an increased number of young people who become the youth homeless of tomorrow.  

Related: Youth Homelessness Charity announces expansion plans as it marks 30 years 

“That’s why Lighthouse is determined to do Foster Care differently. We’ve developed a Model of Care that supports our carers to improve longevity, and provides therapeutic care to young people so they can heal, going on to live a safe, connected, and meaningful life.”  

Lighthouse, which is largely funded by the community, opened another two homes last year.  

T.House Founder Tina Nettlefold recently re-designed the organisation’s Foster Care hub home and hosted an event for Youth Homelessness Matters Day to raise funds for Lighthouse.  

“This is an opportunity to give light to those hard conversations and praise the ongoing dedication that Lighthouse provides to breaking the cycle of youth homelessness and change young lives for the better,” Ms Nettlefold said.  

“Having transformed the lives of more than 1,100 young people, it’s clear to see the incredible impact Lighthouse Foundation has in the community and as a true believer that no child should ever be without a place to call home, I am very proud to be involved and a part of this mission.” 

Related: Featured CEO: Dr Eamonn McCarthy of the Lighthouse Foundation 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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