Scott and I have been fostering for a little over two years now. We started when I was 25 and Scott was 30. We chose to look at all areas - long term, short term, respite and emergency foster care.
To be honest, we were originally looking into adoption, but when we heard about the shortage of foster carers, we looked into fostering instead.
When we started we always said to each other that we would give ourselves a time frame and re-evaluate to make sure this was still right for us. We are still fostering today, and we really do love it.
Like everything in life, at times fostering does have its challenges but there are so many good times that go along with fostering.
What's it like being a respite carer?
When we have the same kids on respite we get to know them well, the kids become like a part of the family, which is wonderful. I think sometimes as in our case, we have an advantage of being younger so we can offer different points of view or different ways to do things.
Helping out the same long term carers is important - it gives the carers a peace of mind as they know who the children are being placed with. It's really nice for the young kids to have another adult they feel they can trust along with their carers.
It gives us the best feeling when we hear the kids say they want to come back or have asked to be placed with us for respite. To me, the fact that the child trusts us enough to want to come back is the biggest reward - their way of saying hey I feel safe with you.
What's important about fostering?
I think the most important aspect of fostering is just keeping things normal, giving the kids a chance to see what normal everyday life is about.
Our days start the same as every other household - we get up and some mornings the kids will get ready some mornings they won't. There are days where their behaviour will be as good as gold then there are days where it's not. For me I take comfort in the fact that if you were to shine a light on my household of foster kids it would look no different to the house next door.
Foster Care Services
Telephone: 1300 2 FOSTER (1300 2 367 837)