Giving to receive- the immeasurable gift of giving, Foundations Care, Ballina call out for foster carers.
Giving to receive- the immeasurable gift of giving, Foundations Care, Ballina call out for foster carers. iStock

Could you open your home to a foster child?

ANGIE and Tom* and their children moved to the Coffs Coast a few years ago.

After one of their kids came home from school and shared a story, this family went on a journey.

"I'd packed cheese and crackers for their lunches and one of my boys said he didn't get to eat his because he gave it to another child who didn't have a lunch," Angie said.

"When I asked why his mum didn't pack him a lunch my child said 'Because he doesn't have a mum'."

This stirred something in Angie and after a family discussion it was decided her and Tom would become foster carers.

"It was something I'd always wanted to do," she said.

"We'd looked into it before having kids and were advised to wait but after that conversation and several other discussions with friends who were carers, we knew the timing was right."

Angie and Tom opened their home and hearts to two brothers, one in kindergarten the other about to start school.

These young children were not without challenges both having ADHD, ODD and ASD.

"We had no experience with these challenges but we had a lot of support from Life Without Barriers. We have a clinician who is there for support and on board all the way no matter what.

"We met the boys, met their previous carer and their biological mother. They stayed with us a little at first in respite carer and then became part of the family."

That was eight years ago.

"I knew there would be challenges but they are just adorable.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been a long road and at times I've thought maybe I can't do this, but I couldn't imagine life without them. And the support from Life Without Barriers (LWB), has never stopped, they have been amazing."

LWB, together with other Mid North Coast out-of-home-care agencies, are holding a stall at Harbourside Markets tomorrow highlighting Child Protection Week. There is also a Thank You day for foster carers and their children at Dolphin Marine Magic, September 14.

"This week is about thanking and celebrating our many wonderful carers on the Coast for their invaluable contribution to the lives children and young people in their care," said Grant Meredith, LWB Coffs Harbour Acting Operations Manager.

"However, there are many more children and young people in our community in need of the care and support that foster carers can provide."

"LWB is looking for full-time, short-term and respite carers for children of all age groups.

"You can make a real difference to the lives of children in your community if you are able to get involved.

"We welcome individuals and families from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds or marital status - single parents, same-sex couples, de facto or married couples, with or without children - who are willing to open their hearts and homes to vulnerable children and young people in our communities.

"We're less concerned about your age, income or relationship. We need carers with attributes and beliefs that we know are good for children."

 

*Names changed



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