A trailblazing South Australian Foster Carer and advocate who has cared for more than 200 children and young people, is a finalist in the 2023 Child Protection Awards.
Lisa O’Malley has been a Foster Carer for 16 years, the past four as part of the Lutheran Care’s Foster Care Village. She is a finalist for the South Australian Foster Carer of the Year award.
Northern Adelaide-based Lisa has provided Emergency, Short-Term and Long-Term Care and is now the long-term guardian of two teenagers. Additionally, she has two adult biological daughters.
As well as caring for children and young people, Lisa has been a tireless, vocal advocate for her fellow Foster Carers and the children they care for. She is well known in the Lutheran Care Foster Care community for sharing her advice and guidance with other carers. Lisa is also a co-founder of The Carer Project advocacy group, a movement of over 400 South Australian carer voices.
The Carer Project has been successful in raising up Foster Carers’ voices, concerns and priorities, through initiatives such as a carer survey and report to government, working with legal counsel to ensure relevant documents are available to carers, and lobbying and liaising with Department for Child Protection, government ministers, and other stakeholders.
The Carer Project offers advice, guidance and support to carers to help them negotiate and understand the Foster Care system, and was also a key instigator of the Independent Inquiry into Foster and Kinship Care in South Australia.
In the past few years, Lisa has completed a series of tertiary courses related to community services and child, youth and family intervention, enhancing her experience and skills with formal accreditation.
Lutheran Care’s Executive Manager Specialist Services Karen Harvey was thrilled for Lisa and excited that a Lutheran Care Foster Carer has been named as a finalist for Carer of the Year.
“Lisa has been an amazing advocate for Foster Carers and children and young people in care.
“We wish Lisa all the best in the awards and keep our fingers crossed for her!
“Regardless of the result, she should be very proud of her achievements and those of The Carer Project.
“We remain very grateful and proud that Lisa is part of our carer Village here at Lutheran Care.”
The 2023 Child Protection Awards, hosted by the Department for Child Protection and supported by Major Sponsor Lutheran Care, will be announced on Friday, 8 September, at an event at Adelaide Oval.