“My husband Jake and I have two kids of our own, aged four and one, and we’ve been foster carers for around six years now. The way we learned about parenting was a bit backwards – first we were really experienced with teenagers, and now we’re learning about younger kids – but it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for our whole family.
“In the last six years we’ve cared for around 15 young people. Some for only two nights and some up to a year. I think foster care is great because it gives the kids a chance of experiencing a consistent home environment with consistent parent figures. I feel like it creates a genuine family environment for them to grow up in.
“The overall experience of foster caring for us has been amazing, it brings a lot to our life. Of course we have some challenging times, we have tears here and there, but we resolve things and the young people know that they are safe and loved in our family. I think that’s really good for our children to see too, that we resolve things as a family.
“We’ve had a lot of highlights over the years, watching the interactions between our own children and the young people that have come to stay. I remember when one of the 16-year-old boys we had to stay would lift one of my little ones onto his hip and introduce them to his friends as his brother or sister – that is a massive thing for a 16 or 17 year old to do I think.
“For people considering fostering teenagers, I say go for it. There is often the misconception that teenagers, particularly boys can be aggressive or physical, but we haven’t ever experienced that – if fact we get the opposite, we have these amazing moments where we get to see a bit of their personalities, they are lovely kids and they become our family when they’ve been with us so long.”
Anglicare Victoria’s foster carers receive 24-hour on-call support, ongoing training and are reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses related to care.
If you would like to become a foster carer with Anglicare Victoria, call 1300 889 335 or register for a local information session by visiting www.anglicarevic.org.au/fostering