NEW out-of-home care offices in Maitland will provide a ‘‘missing’’ service to foster children and their carers.
The premises are the first of their kind for Wesley Mission’s Hunter network and are expected to oversee 228 children and their 150 carers.
Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward and member for Maitland Robyn Parker joined Wesley Mission chief executive Reverend Keith Garner for the opening yesterday.
Dr Garner said there was a growing need for the service and welcomed almost $5million in funding from the state government to get the project up and running.
‘‘It’s important in preparing for the change of delivery [of foster care] with the government handing down much of the workload to non-government sectors such as Wesley Mission,’’ he said.
‘‘The Hunter is an area where there is great need and this is a missing factor in the region.
‘‘We chose Maitland because it’s in a strategic position to service the whole Hunter.’’
Wesley Mission is one of the country’s largest providers of foster care with services extending through the Hunter, Central Coast and greater western Sydney.