Experiences of former foster carers
At the same time as the number of children needing out of home care has increased, the number of people available to provide foster care for children, particularly non-relative foster care, is declining. In Australia, this has been attributed to a number of factors including the ageing of the population and the increased participation of women, the traditional carers, in the workforce (McHugh et al., 2004). Within this context, the Foster Care Association of the ACT Inc (FCA of the ACT) commissioned the Institute of Child Protection Studies to carry out a small research project which aims to better understand the reasons why ACT foster carers cease foster caring during the period January 2004 and April 2007. In this research project we highlight how the foster carers experienced and made sense of the way in which their foster caring finished. By understanding these experiences potentially the systems that care for children can make changes that better support foster carers and ultimately ensure better outcomes for children.