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Being ambitious and career-driven hasn’t stopped Nadia (34) from finding the time and space to provide a home for children in need.

The thought of having children in her life and supporting others in the community has always been on her mind from a young age.

“My parents opened our home to anyone who needed support,” she said.

“We would sometimes have family friends staying with us and they would stretch any meal to feed whoever needed it.

“From a young age I was exposed to people of all cultures, backgrounds, ages, abilities and was made aware that not everyone had the same opportunities.”

When it came to understanding more about foster care, Nadia’s sister, a social worker in the child protection system, provided all the insight she needed.

After hearing countless stories, Nadia explored becoming a respite and emergency foster carer.

“Knowing my sister’s work, for a long time I’ve been conscious that there are children who need homes, love and support,” she said.

“As soon as I stopped living in a share house, I thought ‘I have spare room, a desire to do something for our community, and wanted to foster’.”

Nadia’s upbringing has inspired her to do help others in her local community.

Since 2018, Nadia has provided emergency and respite care to three children, one of whom remains in her care.

While starting a family was not initially on the agenda, Nadia moved in with her partner, who also committed to becoming a foster carer.

Since then, the couple haven’t looked back.

“As soon as I had my first child, my partner was all in… and now he’s a registered foster carer,” she said.

“We had a child in emergency care with us – she was only meant to be with us from Friday to Monday. Now, almost three years later, she’s in our long-term care.

“That’s been our journey. We didn’t go into it searching for a family, but we have ended up with a family.

“Honestly, it’s amazing – we’re so happy and she’s a delight.”

Nadia’s family, especially her mother and sister, have been incredible support throughout her foster care journey.

But one of the most fulfilling factors has been sharing the experience with her close friends.

With many starting families or choosing not to have children, fostering has helped introduce them to a whole new world of parenting.

“It’s been really interesting for our circle of friends, because they’ve never known somebody who’s been a foster carer,” she said.

“I often say to them, even if they don’t want children themselves, ‘why don’t you do respite care?’”

“I think our experience has really helped normalise fostering.”

A single spare room has seen Nadia’s life bloom into something she never expected.

While Nadia anticipates her journey as a foster mum to entail more challenges, chatting with other young parents has helped her realise this is something all families go through.

Having the ongoing support from the team at AnglicareSA also means her and her partner never feel alone.

“Families are all looking really different now – there are so many different makeups of families – and this is just another way of building that,” she said.

“The biggest reward is knowing I’m making a tangible difference in children’s lives. They will all know that they were loved, cared for and listened to.”

Nadia encourages anyone thinking about foster care to simply start the journey to find out if it’s for them.

She said her training and assessment journey really strengthened her desire to foster.

“Even if there is a tiny part of you that thinks maybe you might want to do it sometime – you should start the journey,” she said.

“Through the process you learn more about yourself and that can be quite a worthwhile experience in itself.”

If you are considering becoming a foster carer like Nadia, we would love to hear from you. For more information on becoming a foster carer call (08) 8131 3456.