Meet Kith Carers – Tony and Carol

Just three months ago Tony and Carol took on the role of kith carers when a young girl they had known for more than three years moved into their family home.

“Having known the child and her siblings for some time made the transition to her coming to live with us a little easier,” says Carol.

“Although that’s not to say there weren’t any tears. The first few weeks were a bit tough, there were tears because she missed her sister of course but also a lot of laughter and happiness as she settled into the place.”

“She was thrilled to have her own room and to be part of our family,” remembers Tony.

It’s only been a short few months but already Tony and Carol feel their lives have been enriched by having Naomi* live with them.

“I love what the child brings into our life and learning new things about her and about ourselves.”

“We have learnt quite a lot about each other simply by spending time together, going for walks and watching the football together. That’s a lot of fun because we all go for different teams so it can get quite loud in the house during a game.”

Tony and Carol are one of the 206 kinship households OzChild supports. Although they are not related to the child in their care, they are what is commonly referred to as Kith Carers. Non-relative carers like neighbours, family friends, even teachers play an important role when it comes to caring for vulnerable children and young people, keeping them connected to family and familiarity, helping prevent an even greater rise in children entering foster care, residential care, even homelessness.

When it comes to their wish for young Australians, this loving couple believe a secure and stable home life sets a child up for success later in life, providing them with the skills, tools and capacity to strive for a better future.

*Names have been changed to protect identity

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