Meet OzChild Foster Carer,
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.
Madelaine has been a carer for many years, but only joined the OzChild community of carers six months ago. In those short few months Madelaine has already made some valuable connections through the OzChild community, finding the ‘buddy’ program a great support.
“So far everyone has been lovely and linking into a support buddy has been great. Having others who understand your journey makes it easier”
Madelaine admits being a carer is both the hardest thing she has ever done, and the most rewarding, and is grateful to have other carers to lean on for advice.
“I’m learning all the time from others, I’ve learnt additional strategies for dealing with kids with significant trauma, parenting tips and tricks.”
Currently caring for two children, one who is almost four and the other just two years old, Madelaine has had the siblings in her care for 18 months now and has built a wonderful relationship with them.
“I love them dearly. The older one initially had a lot of trauma and has grown into a happy young girl. Watching her having normal childhood experiences now is rewarding. The two-year-old, has always been a big happy baby and always makes me smile and feel good.”
Madelaine wasn’t sure she could be a foster carer, but it was something she had always wanted to do.
It was a single friend who inspired her shedding light on the fact single people make great foster carers too!
“I always thought I had to be part of a couple (to be a foster carer), It’s something I’d always wanted to do, so when I learned a single friend of mine was a carer, I decided to find out if I could be too”
Madelaine loves watching the kids change and develop, watching them start to trust people and be happy, smile and laugh and says watching them grow is “wonderful.”
When it comes to integrating the children in her care into her own community, with her family and friends Madelaine says the kids in her care are treated as family, “they come to all gatherings, events and parties, and are very welcomed by everyone in my network.”
We asked Madeline if she had any advice for new foster carers, her response was not surprising…
“Just focus on what’s in your control within the time frame you have”
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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