Laura and her husband Jake have been Anglicare Victoria foster carers for four years.
Can you tell us a little about how you decided to become a foster carer?
I started out as a single carer and did all the training on my own. It just so happened that I met my future husband in the week that I got my first placement! Jake eventually did the training and became a foster parent as well.
Can you tell us a little about some of the young people you have fostered?
We have had ten emergency placements and four longer-term kids. They have all been amazing in different ways.
Two of the kids returned to their families, which is always the aim of foster care. Even so, you miss them dearly! And our current kid is staying for as long as he needs. He is 16 now and has been with us nearly a year. He plans to finish VCE and then on to TAFE or university.
We had just had our first baby when he came to stay. We were nervous about how we would cope and what he would think about a baby. But it was the best decision for our family. He is the best big brother to our other little one. You can see that he still hurts sometimes, but he is learning how to manage that much better and we are so proud of him.
What do you wish other people knew about foster caring and foster kids?
Although the kids do have rough moments, the majority of the time it is just amazing, watching the growth and change in these kids. Seeing them experience things they wouldn’t have otherwise, and learning something new for the first time.
Watching them make progress in a challenging area is the most rewarding thing! To see them work through that and come out the other side with an acceptance of who they are and where they are in life is amazing.
What would you tell someone about why they should get involved with Anglicare Victoria?
Anglicare have been an amazing support to us through our whole fostering journey. People forget that foster care can be what you make it. If you have only one weekend spare a month, then sign up for respite or emergency care. Or if you have a few hours a week, volunteer as a Friend, to be another support to a young person in care. There are so many different ways to get involved and support kids or other foster carers. It’s the best thing we ever did.
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, call 1800 809 722.