Anthony and I have been fostering for eight months. We started fostering partly because we knew people who foster already.
Because I especially love babies we decided to put our hand up for younger children - we care for babies and children aged up to three years. When a tiny baby comes in, we usually try and settle them in with a feed and a bath, plus of course, cuddles and introductions to our own four children.
While the children are here, they get lots of love, stability and care along with the basic stuff too - good food, clean sheets and a warm bed. They also get to be part of a family group - that means LOTS of brothers!
For us, emergency care means providing day-to-day care for babies that are in the system through no fault of their own.
The babies have been very young and required numerous medical appointments of one sort or another, which can take a bit of time!
We have had to be reasonably flexible as the child's access (with their birth family) can generally be all over the place, for the start.
As a foster carer, if there's a small child out there having a terrible day, I like to know that I can be there to try and help them through it, give them lots of love and show them that the world is not all scary.
What happens at the end of an emergency placement?
Sometimes we help transition children back home, and while that can be sad, it's fulfilling to know that we have helped give them the best start we could.
We have also helped a child move to a long-term foster family. We met the couple and spent a few hours with them over a few visits so they could get to know the child and her routine. Then they took her home after the final visit.
After that, there were a few phone calls and text messages each way.
In one case we knew the family that the child moved to so we still keep in touch.
If someone is considering fostering I would tell them it is rewarding, heartbreaking, fun, and a lot of hard work (and sleepless nights for us).
Mind you, the huge toothless grins and contagious giggles make up for a lot! It is absolutely worth it.
Foster Care Services
Telephone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)