COMMENT:

Mother's Day yesterday reminded me how tough a day it can be for so many mums.

Those who've lost mums, those who can't be mums, step-mums, those with no relationship with their mums, foster mums.

So it was very nice timing that the Government's announced a review into how foster carers get funded. And not before time.

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What a thankless and difficult task foster caring must be.

Taking children into your home whose background you have limited insight into, children who may present with any myriad of problems or issues you're expected to help address, and children who many times you are putting alongside your own to love and care for.

The people who do this are the very best kind of people: selfless, generous and whole-hearted.

The disruption and angst it must cause many families is unimaginable. It would strain relationships, test your faith in humanity, and push many people to the limit.

And yet many not only do it once, but time and time again. Obviously the challenges foster carers face are far greater than dollars and cents, but to at least recognise the true financial cost will be a good starting point.

And it's not the cost of the care obviously: the time, energy and commitment given by foster carers is priceless, it's the costs associated with the care to provide the necessities for those children.

Most carers will tell you they do it for the love, not the money, but the cost of raising a child is expensive. The costs associated with it are never ending.
Both financially and emotionally for these carers.

Which is probably why there's never enough of them.

We've had a shortage of foster carers for some time, but it's hoped more help and other support may have a knock-on effect of encouraging more people to become foster carers.

It's a deeply complex issue which can often include the carers having limited abilities to act on behalf of the child, with basic things like taking them to a doctor. That must be enormously frustrating.

There's also been criticism of limited support, limited follow-up care, limited information provided, too much red tape.

So a lot more needs to change than just some extra funding - but it's a good place to start.