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We often hear from prospective foster carers wondering if the child or young person they foster will be from their local area. Ideally, the answer is yes.

The importance of local foster care placements

Being placed in foster care is a significant and often traumatic experience for a child. At Berry Street, we strive to provide foster care services across Victoria, focusing on keeping children within their local communities. This effort helps to minimise the emotional impact of entering care.

Imagine for a moment what it might be like for a child or young person who can no longer live at home. Not only are they moving in with a new family, but if they cannot stay in their local community, they may face long commutes, especially in regional areas. They might have to move to a different neighbourhood, change schools, lose contact with old friends, be separated from siblings, and have limited contact with their biological parents.

While children are remarkably resilient, these transitions can be incredibly challenging. It’s hard to predict how a child will adapt to a new home, neighbourhood, or school while dealing with losing familiar connections. This is why placing children within their existing communities is often best. Innovative approaches to foster care emphasise the importance of local placements, and public sentiment strongly supports this. According to Fostering Connections, 80% of Victorians believe the community should support children who can’t live with their families.

Become a foster carer with Berry Street and support a local child

Staying in their community is crucial for children and young people in foster care. A sense of community helps them build a healthy sense of belonging, self-identity, and security—things every child deserves to develop safely and securely.

Berry Street is always looking for more carers in the communities we serve. If you believe in supporting children and young people within their local communities, please get in touch to learn more about becoming a Berry Street foster carer.