6th February 2020
- How long have you been a foster carer for?
Chris and I have been foster carers since May 2015.
- Where did you initially hear about foster care?
Growing up my family provided foster care to children, so it has been something I have always been interested in. Chris and I initially started our journey to be accredited when our biological children were babies but decided to wait.
- What made you make the ultimate decision to become a foster carer?
As a family with 2 teenagers we felt we could provide a loving home to a child. I was already working at Anglicare and was privileged to see the amazing work the Case Managers do, and we felt that with support in place we could start the journey. I have always known that I would be a foster mum and with the age of our kids it felt like the perfect for us.
- How many kids are you currently caring for?
We are caring for a gorgeous 7 year old boy. He is very much part of our family and I actually tend to forget that he is in foster care! We love him so much and we feel privileged to be part of life journey. We have also provided respite to 4 other children.
- Is there flexibility with foster care (eg. is it easy to choose what sort of care you provide, long-term, short term, etc?)
Absolutely. We felt the training was very thorough and we felt that all times the case managers were listening to what we would need and what what sort of placement would work for us as a family.
- You’re also a TEACHaR teacher – can you tell us about this program and your role?
TEACHaR is an incredible program run by Anglicare. It employs highly experienced teachers to work directly with children and young people in OoHC to help them re-engage with education. The program has great flexibility to meet the individual need of each child and the results have been very promising. I would even say the impact of the TEAaCHaR program for many if the children is life changing (but I am a bit biased!).
- How important are foster carers when helping foster kids transition into school life? How do they help?
Foster carers are a critical component in transitioning kids into school. Some of the children that come in to care have been disengaged from schooling for years, or have had many different schools. Often the children can be 2 years behind their peers and finding the right school for them is essential. The carers support during these times can make all the difference. Being a caring face at the end of the day, understanding the exhaustion the children feel as they have to work so hard dealing with anxiety. Often the kids will try so hard at school to concentrate, making friends, listening to teachers that when they get home they have to let it all out. The amazing carers nurture these kids and support them to have the confidence to go back again the next day to school. The carers also assist with sharing information with new teachers and attend many SSG’s.
- What are a few standout parts of your foster care journey? And any challenges you have had to overcome?
I love being s foster carer. For me personally it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It is also the hardest! On many occasions I have felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I would never have imagined the love I feel for this little boy. Our whole family has been on this journey together, and that includes grand parents, aunties, uncles and friends. It hasn’t been easy as our little man displays his hurt and sadness by lashing out physically but with the support of an amazing case manager and our therapeutic specialist from ACF we have been able to support him through these moments. He has been so brave and the transformation we have seen in him actually brings tears to my eyes.
- Is there anything else you wish to add about your foster care journey?
I would recommend fostering to anyone that has a love of children, the space in their life to commit to a little person for however long they need. Sometimes they just need a safe loving home for a night. As I mentioned earlier, it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.