Respecting children’s cultural needs a key part of caring role
For Aboriginal woman Jeanette, caring has been part of her life for as long as she can remember.
The 55-year-old, who lives in Whyalla, currently has two children in her long-term care and provides emergency and short-term care through Aboriginal Family Support Services.
Jeanette followed in the footsteps of her mother who provided foster care throughout her childhood, starting her own caring role as a 19-year-old.
“My mum fostered children when I was growing up so it just seemed the natural thing to do,” Jeanette said.
“My mum was part of the Stolen Generations and she was fostered to many families, some good some not so good.
“I guess this is why she fostered children and she only fostered Aboriginal children.”
As a teacher on the Eyre Peninsula for 30 years, Jeanette has worked with many children in care and recognises the importance of keeping Aboriginal children connected to family, community and culture.
“It goes without saying that we need to respect each child’s cultural needs,” she said.
Jeanette has shared her story as part of the #FosterCareSA social media campaign to bring greater awareness to the need for more carers in South Australia.
She said that while fostering is not always easy, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
“We love supporting the children we care for to do what they are passionate about and encouraging them to be ambitious and strive for their goals,” she said.
“It is also beautiful to watch our children welcome other young people to our family.
“Our last placement was two siblings and they arrived at 9pm at night. Our (foster) children were so helpful in welcoming them and helping them settle into our home.”
To help us raise awareness about foster care, please share these stories on social media with the hashtag #FosterCareSA.
Anyone interested in finding out more about foster care should visit www.fostercare.sa.gov.au or call 1300 2 FOSTER (367 837).