Jenni and Gary’s Story
Jenni and Gary have been emergency, short term, long term and respite careers for four years.
They say “We love children and felt compelled to do something to help those who desperately needed it”
“Fostering has had a huge impact on our lives. Not only have we been blessed to get to know 9 beautiful children, we have been able to welcome them into our home and family and give them stability and love when they needed it most. We now see these children as part of our family and always will. It hasn’t always been easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything else!”
Instead of having to worry about their basic needs being met or not, they have been able to not only have physical needs met but to thrive to the point where they can play and sing and dance and dress up and live and love and just enjoy being a child and growing into who they were created to be without worrying about anything else. We aim to provide the safe haven they need, and it comes complete with 4 adoring “siblings” ready to shower on the attention!
They say there are so many benefits to being a foster carer – the love you get in return, seeing them begin to heal, knowing you are making a difference in someone’s life, watching them make milestones, nurturing them, just having the privilege of being the one they can go to, and seeing our biological children loving them just as much and learning and growing through the whole experience.
They encourage others to become carers. Yes it can be tough but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. These children need loving homes and families, the alternative for them is too devastating for good people to sit back and say it’s too hard.
They thank Anglicare and particularly the amazing group of support workers in the south. They say ‘They have made our fostering experience all the more rich and their support has been invaluable. It is wonderful to work with a team of professionals so committed to the welfare of vulnerable children in our State who care just as much for the children as we do.”
Alex and Greg’s Story
Alex moved in with his partner who was already a long term foster carer. After a little while they decided that he too would become a foster carer.
When Alex started exploring options he found there was a huge support network and training provided to become a carer that removed any daunting aspect to the process and the idea of fostering.
Alex feels that he’s made a home in Adelaide and that having a family has solidified this. He feels part of a family and feels satisfied that there’s extra support if things begin to feel overwhelming.
Alex would recommend making an enquiry to AnglicareSA if you are interested in becoming a carer. They will explain the whole process and allow you to see that you will have all the support and training you could need.
John has been fostering on his own now for 13 years and for two years prior to that with his former wife. His preference is for offering long term care but has also taken emergency placements, respite placements and short term placements when circumstances allow.
He became a foster carer initially with his former wife. She was a foster child herself and wanted to offer other children the benefits that she had received. He had found that so rewarding that he continued to foster when he was on his own.
With a home to offer and a supportive family network, John felt he had the capacity to give children in care the love and nurture that they need. He emphasizes that he and his family embrace the children that come to his home as full members of the family. He remembers his first two placements. They were children with disabilities and they still maintain a connection.
John states with some passion that foster caring is “The best thing I’ve ever done.” he describes the joy he gets from meeting the childrens’ particular needs and he lists their many “little achievements” that are so significant for them and so rewarding for him. He mentioned things like watching them have new experiences, helping them with homework and being there when they reach their individual milestones.
At one point John had an accident that prevented him from pursuing further employment. Losing his usual occupation and needing to redirect his energies, John was glad to be able to find a sense of purpose in his fostering. He also believes fostering has been an improvement for his family. So significant was the experience of fostering for his daughters that it has influenced their career choices. One daughter is working with people with disabilities and the other has worked in day care and out of school hours care at the local school.
While he acknowledges that there are many tough aspects of foster caring, John puts the challenges in the wider context of providing a loving environment unconditionally. John finds huge satisfaction in honouring that commitment. The ongoing connection that past foster children maintain and the network that provides is a real joy for John.
John feels quite humbled by the close connection that most of the children he has cared for have maintained with him. They acknowledge openly and often, that John has given them the nurturing home that they would not otherwise have had. John commented that with only a few exceptions the children that have been with him have left with a positive attitude to life and have gone on to make good life choices.
John also sees that wherever it has been possible, he has assisted the children in his care to establish connection with their birth families so that they have a basis for an ongoing relationship.
Without hesitation John said that the best thing about being a foster carer is the love he receives back from the children. This he recognises and cherishes in the simple day to day interactions, the things that they can take for granted and that indicate they feel safe and secure with him.
When asked what he would say to anyone who was considering becoming a foster carer, John suggested to “find out as much a you can so that you are well informed. Take your time, there is no rush, it is a big undertaking and not for everybody but , when the circumstances are right, do it.” John said that for him it has been the most rewarding thing in his life.
John concluded about foster care that “ It has changed my life for the better.” and added that now he has a large and caring extended family.