Sunday, 9 September 2018
A ‘foster grandma’ who cares for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable babies and toddlers will today be honoured for her positive impact on young lives over 26 years.
Grandmother Kim Bolton, who specialises in caring for premature and drug-dependent babies and kids with disabilities, will today (9 September) receive a Premier’s Volunteer Champion Award.
Kim, 68, began fostering in 1992 when the youngest of her four children was a teenager.
Now grandma to 10 biological grandchildren and one great grandchild of her own, the veteran carer has looked after so many other children over years that she’s lost count of the number.
And after more than a quarter of a century of experience, she is now a go-to carer for babies and toddlers with special needs.
Kim’s dedication was on display on Christmas Day when she drove to hospital to collect a baby who was born drug dependent and could not go home with their family.
“They needed a carer for few days and I was thrilled to do it,’’ says Kim. “That night I sat there with a little baby and it was like a Christmas present to me.’’
Anglicare Victoria’s Deputy CEO Sue Sealey says Kim’s willingness to care for children with the most complex needs is inspirational.
“Kim is the ultimate foster grandmother with patience and an abundance of love to give the children she cares for,’’ she says.
“Kim also shows respect for the families of the children she cares for, and often remains in contact with them after their kids have returned home, offering support and encouragement.’’
Kim’s award comes at the start of Foster Care Week, which is encouraging more Victorians to become carers to help the growing number of kids who can’t live with their families.
Kim says she gets a great sense of achievement caring for children, giving them safety and stability, and helping re-build their confidence and happiness.
“When a child leaves me to return to their own family – or moves on to permanent care with another family – and it’s successful it gives me a great sense of satisfaction,’’ she says.
“I feel happy that I have done something to help this child and make their life good.’’
For more information about fostering with Anglicare Victoria visit www.anglicarevic.org.au or check out #OurFosterStories on Twitter or Facebook.
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