Celebrating Foster & Kinship Care Week 2020

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To all foster carers and kinship carers – thank you.

This week we celebrate and acknowledge the work of foster carers and kinship carers who dedicate their time to enriching the lives of young people.

Have you ever thought about short-term foster care? Could your care for a young person until they can return to their family? Learn more or register your interest here.

Below is a snapshot from across Samaritans foster care and kinship care programs to highlight the care and passion among our communities.

Kay, Foster Carer

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“My husband and I have three adult children and we’ve cared for a lot of kids over the years – respite, short term, long term, and we’re doing restoration at the moment. I think restoration is the best part, that’s always our hope; that if they can be with mum and dad then they should be.

We have had two little girls for nearly three years and getting these girls home to their mum would be the bees knees. Not that we want to part with them, but we know they should be home with mum. That’ll be a happy ending.” -Kay, Foster Carer 

Candice, Kinship Carer

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“When my sister asked me to take care of the boys I was living with my mum as her carer. I didn’t want to leave my mum behind but I knew we couldn’t all live there, we couldn’t cope. I was lucky to get emergency housing and not long after I got put in touch with Samaritans. 

We had nothing, I was starting new with the 4 boys and their dog. Marcia at Samaritans was fantastic, she was able to deal with Dept of Housing on behalf of me, and with Centrelink. It was overwhelming to take on children that aren’t yours and that hadn’t been parented properly. 

I never intended to have my own children, I just didn’t want to. But I can imagine the love I do have for my nephews and nieces is the same love as id have for my own children. I love and worry about them constantly. 

My mum and I are in the kids’ lives every single day. There’s more stability for them now, which is good, but we’ll always be here for them.”Candice, Kinship Carer to her nephews

 

Christine, Foster Carer

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“Foster care was a lifelong dream for me. It was a bucket list, must do thing. I remember telling my high school career advisor that I wanted to be a mum. There was a mother at my primary school who was a foster carer and she inspired me to pursue this path… it all fell into place.

Foster care isn’t without it’s challenges, but it gives you an opportunity to have such a positive influence on the life of a young person who really needs it. The small changes and input that we have in their time with us really do make a big impact.

We’ve got an opportunity to listen and provide enjoyable family time- I’ve found what you give, you get back ten-fold. I don’t do anything special- it’s just the normal experiences I’d want my own children to have” -Christine, Foster Carer

 

Mandy, Kinship Carer

“I went to Samaritans for financial help and that’s how I found out about the support groups. I’ve been going there for two years, close to three. 

There are so many of us out there, but many people don’t know about the support groups.  

It’s about the companionship; everyone doing the same thing and by coming together you might be able to help the next person.  

We go away for a weekend away each year, we take all the kids. We love getting together and the kids get to bond in a space where they don’t feel unusual for their situation.”
-Mandy, Grandparent carer

 

Terrie, Foster Carer

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“Our household is chaotic at times, it’s messy, it’s loud, but it’s our household.

I actually came into foster care through a friend, who had a niece in foster care and needed someone to do respite care for her, so I started the training.

I fell into it, I think. I started with respite, then short term, then the children would come and say, “Well can we stay?”. I’ve come from a big family, we had our ups and downs, and I know there’s a need to have other people out there to look after children that are in care.

It’s enriched my life, it’s made me grow as a person.” -Terrie, Foster Carer

 

NOTE: In some of the stories above, names and photos have been changed to protect the identities of the families.