Wishlist and IFYS join forces to boost foster care numbers

11 Apr 2024

Wishlist, a leading Sunshine Coast health charity, is proud to announce its partnership with IFYS (Integrated Family and Youth Service) to enhance foster care opportunities in the Sunshine Coast community.

The innovative collaboration aims to address the growing need for foster carers by promoting the benefits of foster caring to health care workers to ensure better outcomes for children in need.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe says the partnership between Wishlist and IFYS signifies a united effort to address the critical need for foster carers on the Sunshine Coast and Gympie.
Paul Morton and Lisa Wilson - IFYS

According to the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services, the number of children in care increased to 11,600 as of September 30 2023 – a 1.5 percent increase (173 children) compared to the same period the previous year. Less than half of children are placed with kin – around 48.5 percent. 

“By combining our expertise and resources, we hope this partnership will genuinely make a positive impact on the lives of children who are at-risk in our community” Ms Rowe explains.

IFYS Managing Director Tony Pignata says one of the key highlights of the partnership is the valuable skills and attributes that health staff possess, which are highly transferrable to the role of foster carers. 

“Health professionals, with their innate abilities to stay calm, respond to individual needs, and understand the importance of flexibility, are well-equipped to provide nurturing environments for children in foster care,” Mr Pinata says.

“At IFYS we are thrilled to be partnering with Wishlist. The partnership between the two services will allow us to focus on better outcomes for our community and explore ways that we can work together in caring and giving back to the Sunshine Coast.”

Wishlist already funds several programs to support vulnerable young people including funding a two-year Youth Advisory Group program to better provide a circle-of-care for young adults and adolescents with mental health conditions, an innovative $31,000 Adolescent Day Program for disengaged youth, plus research into how to better support young people accessing healthcare on the Sunshine Coast and Gympie.

Wishlist is also seeking support to fund a $97,513 youth support program to improve the health of around 120 young people aged 12-25 each year who live with chronic conditions.

To learn more about foster caring on the Sunshine Coast, visit fostercare.com.au, or to find out more about Wishlist’s partners, click here.

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