Dave and I have been fostering around 17 years. We foster long term, short term, emergency and respite. We specialise in children with disability or global/developmental delay.
The benefits we get from being carers
There is no one particular thing - it's everything:
- the look of pure joy on a child's face, when for some, it's the first time they experience a real Christmas, have a birthday party and cake, or go to the beach for the first time
- the sense of achievement, when a paediatrician says your child is now thriving
- the warmth of the first time a child feels comfortable enough to give you a hug
- the list goes on.
The challenges of being a carer
- Gaining a child's trust.
- Getting a child to accept your family and the way in which you live.
- Understanding and working within the system.
Benefits for the children in our care
We strongly believe that when we take a child into our home, they should be treated as our own. This does not mean that we deny them their heritage or family. On the contrary, we keep as accurate a record as possible of the child's birth family.
We both feel that the children in our care should be encouraged and supported to do well in anything they may undertake, be it school, sport or whatever.
It's important that these children don't appear different to their peers. So I go on all the school committees, do canteen duty, the kindy washing etc. Children in care generally have a range of issues that you would not see in your own children.
It's important that, as carers, we recognise this and try to focus on the positives the child brings. In time the positives will far outweigh the negatives.
Foster Care Services
Telephone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)