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At-risk kids in carer crisis

Child welfare workers are having to take vulnerable children home with them because of a severe shortage of foster families.

The Department for Child Protection confirmed this week that staff had had to care for kids in their own homes because appropriate accommodation couldn't be found.

The latest department figures reveal 3910 children were in state care at the end of January, up from 3276 three years ago.

There are 2533 approved foster carers in WA, half of whom are relatives of the children concerned.

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said finding foster carers was their "greatest challenge" and a four-month recruitment campaign that started last September had resulted in 67 applications.

While the number was low it was still much higher than the 23 received at the same time last year.

"An additional 100 carers would greatly relieve pressures," Ms McSweeney said.

Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association assistant secretary Rikki Hendon said the lack of foster carers was putting "immense pressure" on the department's staff who already had "excessive workloads".

Read the full story  via Perth Now

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