Banyule resident Jenni Hazell decided to become a foster carer after she drove past a sign in her local area encouraging people to care. That was 10 years ago, and since then Jenni has given a home to children of all ages, from six-months-old through to teenagers.
“Since I was a young age, I’ve known I’ve wanted to help people who might not be as fortunate as I am. For many years I thought that I wouldn’t be able to foster because I’m on my own and I work full-time – but now I know that’s absolutely not the case,” Jenni said.
“After enquiring and completing the training and accreditation I hit the ground running by providing respite to two siblings under two. It was a steep learning curve for me, but the carers who looked after the children full time could not have been more helpful. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better couple to learn from, I felt very supported from the very beginning of my journey.”
For people who might be considering becoming a foster carer, Jenni says you’ll get just as much out of it as you put in, and that you’ll be well supported.
“I’ve learnt a lot in my 10 years as a foster carer, I honestly think it’s the most rewarding experience anyone can do. It can be challenging, and you learn a lot about yourself, but I absolutely love it. I’m very passionate, and advocate strongly for each child who comes into my care – when they’re with me their safety and wellbeing is my top priority.”
This Foster Care Week, Anglicare Victoria is celebrating all its foster carers for making a positive difference in the lives of the children they care for. Currently there are 42 active foster care households in Anglicare Victoria’s north metro region.
Justin Cooper, Out-of-Home Care Program Manager at Anglicare Victoria north metro said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our northern foster carer households, acknowledging the contribution each of you has made, and continues to make, in providing a safe and nurturing home environment for children and young people,” Justin said.
“We as a team cannot thank you enough for your dedication and commitment to our communities most vulnerable children and young people, the difference you are making in each of their lives is priceless.”