Shannon Kendrick, second left, and her Barnados team who are looking for foster carers for teenagers.

Hornsby is in desperate need of foster parents to give teenagers a chance with none registered to assist.

About 20,000 kids under 18 in NSW need a safe home but none are available in the Hornsby area.

Barnardos Foster Care officer Shannon Kendrick said everyone wants to care for a baby but no one wants a teenager.

“Kids from 12 are left homeless and moving from refuge to refuge each week,” Ms Kendrick said.

Recently kids have been referred from Hornsby and Turramurra after they were removed from their parents and school.

“We don’t have one carer in Hornsby. In the inner west we have 10-12,” she said.

“Without foster carers they’re either kept in unsafe spaces, live in refuges or abscond. We get referrals from community services daily for teens.”

The benefits to helping foster children include being able to watch them learn and grow.

“(Foster carers) find kids are forever teaching them things,” she said.

The only requirements to be foster carer are to be over 25 and have a spare bedroom.

“We pay a carer allowance up to $700 a week to cover the cost of having a young person in your home and they’re provided a case worker and 24 /7 support with someone who they know they can talk to.”

There are three options:

  • Respite care is one weekend a month
  • Short-term care is for a six-month period while a court makes a decision
  • Long-term care

Details: phone 1800 663 441 or fosterateen.org.au.

(This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph and was written by Nigel Gladstone.)