Foster care both challenging and rewarding for Ashleigh
Providing emergency and respite foster care for vulnerable children and young people can make a real difference in their lives, according to foster carer, Ashleigh.
The 42-year-old from the Adelaide Hills has provided respite, emergency and short term care for Aboriginal children for more than three years.
She says every positive interaction is valuable in a young child’s life.
“It doesn't matter how long the children are in our care, whether it be a week, a month or several months. We come to love the children like they are our own and we want the very best outcomes for them,” Ashleigh said.
“All children need to know that there are lots of people out there who care about them and who take an interest in their lives.
“It might only be a matter of weeks for us, and it might affect our usual routine, but those weeks make a massive difference in the lives of these children.
“The growth you see in the children is rewarding and makes it all worthwhile.”
As registered foster carers with Aboriginal Family Support Services, Ashleigh and her family are keen to learn about Aboriginal culture to support and strengthen the cultural identity of the children they have in their care.
“We provide support and care until such time as a kinship option becomes available to them,” she said.
Ashleigh also acknowledged the importance of sibling and family connections.
She has shared her story as part of a #FosterCareSA social media campaign to bring greater awareness to the need for more foster carers in South Australia.
She encouraged anyone interested in foster caring to attend an information session.
“You will learn so much about the absolute need for more carers and you will learn how you can play a vital role in these children’s’ lives,” she said.
“For every challenge, there is equal reward.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about foster care should visit www.fostercare.sa.gov.au or call 1300 2 FOSTER (367 837).