Meet OzChild Foster Carers,
This week is Foster Care Week in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, so we thought we would introduce you to some of our amazing foster carers.
Meet Vince and Kym.
Having always loved being around children, Vince and Kym knew they were destined to become carers. Their desire to provide a safe, and nurturing home environment for children and young people and to see their happiness, made the decision to become foster carers an easy one.
“I was born to be a carer, by my early teens my sisters had children and I loved it. I was always surrounded by children, so I knew one day I wanted to care for children too. I love seeing them grow and move forward in their lives. Their history shouldn’t define their future.”– says Kym
Although Vince and Kym’s foster care journey with OzChild began in 2019, the couple has extensive experience having cared for countless children and young people for 22 incredible years.
Their significant experience has taught the couple that caring for a child meant participating in all aspects of the child’s life and focusing on supporting that child to be the best version of themselves.
“We don’t look at it as a short-term thing it’s the end goal that’s important, completing school, further education, setting them up for a successful future. What they do now is important for setting up their end goals for a brighter future.”
Children and young people from diverse backgrounds enter the foster care system, and as a same-sex couple, Vince and Kym have welcomed children from all walks of life to their humble home which has been a positive experience for them.
“We feel children are very adaptive to our lifestyle, it does have its challenges at times, but we work through them together.”
While most children under Vince and Kym’s care have returned to be with their families, this loving couple is currently caring for a young person who has been with them since he was 15 years old. He is now 22 and the couple’s continuous support and faith in him have driven him to thrive in both school and life.
“When he first came, I wasn’t sure he would be here for long, he had significant trauma of the passing of a parent and he was behind in school, when I gave him the house rules, he thought it was too strict but within the first three months, he got his first A at school and was so excited as he was now doing homework and had structure.”
While foster care comes with its challenges, it is a unique and rewarding journey that allows a carer to provide life-changing support to children and young people who are facing vulnerability, and as carers with a lifetime of experience, Vince and Kym have some sound advice for anyone who is looking to become a foster carer, “Don’t be scared off by the training, it can sound daunting and scary but it’s not as scary as it seems on the surface. Bond with the child and grow the relationship.”
It takes all types of people to care for all kinds of children and at OzChild we welcome all carers. It doesn’t matter which race, religion, or ethnic background you belong to, or whether you are single, married, young or older, with or without kids, in a same-sex relationship, retired, or working. None of these affect a person’s eligibility to become a foster carer.
All we need is for you to be over the age of 21 and have secure accommodation and appropriate space to provide a safe, loving, and nurturing home for a vulnerable child.
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