It takes a special type of person to become a foster carer, often forging a life changing career in the process. Foster carers from all walks of life are continually bringing about positive change to the lives of the children in care – in turn transforming their own lives.
Take Elizabeth for example, a single, hardworking mother of two with a passion for martial arts. She has five years’ experience as a foster Carer. Elizabeth is a foster carer for Key Assets – a non-government, not for profit fostering agency. Her motivation to continue her amazing work as a carer is found in the personality of the child in her care.
In statistics released by Department of Communities and Justice, in 2020 there is currently 16,253 children in Out of Home Care in NSW alone. 309 Children and young people entered care this year (Jan to June 2020). The majority of children in care are between 6 & 12years – (7325), while there are 3527 children 0 – 5years (these are the children we receive the most foster carer enquiries for). The remaining Young People are 13-17 years (5401).
Sadly, the number of children entering Foster Care is increasing and there is a high demand for new Foster Carers to care in the Hunter, New England & Central Coast Region. Key Assets is committed to recruiting flexible and resilient Foster Carers that can provide safe, stable and nurturing homes to meet the needs of children and young people in their local community.
Elizabeth believes that the child in her care brings out the best in her, an aspect of her position that she finds particularly rewarding. She enjoys seeing the expressions on his face when something positive is achieved and the personal bond that has developed between them. Often she feels like the love is unconditional.
Although Elizabeth has some excellent stories to share, there have also been some challenges along the way. It can be a tough gig providing quality care in a family setting, for a young person that has experienced difficulties in their life so far. Sometimes, the issue of complex trauma can have a huge impact on everyone involved. Behaviour can be difficult to manage, often times snowballing in challenging situations. Luckily, Key Assets provides substantial support to both the carer and the child through experienced and caring social workers and support team.
If there is any advice Elizabeth can provide to prospective foster carers, it is to think long and hard about fostering. While it is a big commitment, it can be an incredibly worthwhile and life changing experience. For foster carers, the needs and welfare of the child is paramount. It’s certainly the best thing Elizabeth has ever done.
Anyone interested in fostering should contact Key Assets Fostering on 1800 We Care (1800 932 273) or check your eligibility to become a carer on our website