Meet Foster Carer, Rachel

Meet OzChild Foster Carer, Rachel

For nearly two years Rachel has been caring for at-risk children and young people in Melbourne’s south, but her desire to make a difference began when she was just a child herself.

“I had a friend when I was a child who was in foster care and I think this was a big influence on my decision to become a carer,” Rachel tells us.

Caring for two sisters aged six and eight years old for the past year Rachel has developed an incredibly strong bond with the girls who now call her Mum.

“The first few weeks were challenging. I remember trying to establish routines and boundaries as well as trying to build a positive relationship. Fortunately, we had two respite weekends together before they came to me long term. The first few weeks went by so quickly, they were hard sometimes and exhausting but thinking of how far we have come it was worth every challenge we faced!”

Rachel says being a foster carer is the most challenging and rewarding thing you could ever do.

“There are so many things to love about being a foster carer! Seeing the kids grow and develop, seeing their confidence build. Knowing I am making a difference in their lives. Building relationships with the kids I care for, whether they are the kids I have provided respite care for in the past or the two wonderful girls I have now in long term care.”

And the challenges?

“By far the most challenging part is knowing how to deal with challenging behaviours and being able to tell what the cause of them is. There is always a reason behind the behaviours and sometimes it takes a while to work out.”

Together Rachel and the girls love playing outside and going to the park, while inside they enjoy arts and crafts, drawing and colouring.

“Cooking is lots of fun too, especially when we are making afternoon tea to take to Nana and Pop’s house! Storytime is a favourite too whether it is me reading or my girls reading to me,” says Rachel.

Rachel’s wish for young Australians is one she lives and breathes in her caring role, “that they have every chance in life. To have a family who gives them the opportunity to succeed and believes in them. For them to be able to reach their potential and be the best they can be in whatever they choose to do.”

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