Hayden was just 21 when he first became a foster carer. Now 24, he has a sibling group of three in his care on a permanent basis.
“It’s been the most rewarding experience”, says Hayden. “To be able to look after three foster children has been my biggest accomplishment. I feel incredibly lucky to be given this opportunity. The children look up to me and are proud to call me their parent”.
Being able to keep the three siblings together as a family unit has been incredibly important to Hayden.
“Some of the highlights would be I was able to transition to permanent care so the kids will be in my care until they’re 18”.
“I got to take on a sibling group and they were all reunited together. People are often inspired about my journey at my age. I feel grateful that I was given this opportunity at 21”.
With Youth Week kicking off across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, Hayden believes such events play an important role in highlighting the contributions young people are making to society.
“It gives young people an opportunity to voice their ideas and views. They get to express themselves and have a say as to what happens in their lives”.
Hayden is a great example of the amazing things young people are doing right across the country, highlighting the positive impact you can have on your community no matter your age.
“On a personal level I think it’s great to be involved in our community to help disadvantaged children because it gives me great satisfaction and fulfilment that I can make a huge difference to a child’s life and be a role model that they can look up to”.
Although being a foster carer isn’t overly common for someone in their early twenties, Hayden has some advice for young people who might want to do something a little outside the norm.
“I’d say take on the opportunity you won’t regret it. Yes, it can be challenging at times but it’s all worth it when you get to see the difference you make to the kids. All your hard work lasts a lifetime for them and yourself!”