Foster care in many forms

Making a difference: Foster carers Wayne and Kim help children in need of short term and crisis care. They said it has been a positive journey which has helped them to fulfil their desire to give back to the community.
Making a difference: Foster carers Wayne and Kim help children in need of short term and crisis care. They said it has been a positive journey which has helped them to fulfil their desire to give back to the community.

Wayne and Kim had contemplated being foster carers for many years. This year, as they settled into early retirement, the two former school teachers talked about their aspiration to share their time and their home with children in need of support.

"We never doubted this was something we wanted to do. It was about the right timing for us to begin foster caring," Wayne said.

They attended an information evening that featured presentations on the different types of care required and after the event they both decided it was time to take the plunge and start the process of becoming carers.

"We have the time and the ability to provide care and we were both looking at how we could help kids who needed some support," Wayne said.

"We were both looking to do something with purpose and meaning. We could just sit back and enjoy retirement, but we feel the need to give back."

Wayne and Kim both felt they have the ability to help children in need of short term and crisis care, while also giving long term carers a well-deserved break.

"We try to provide quality one-on-one time, some time out from their normal routine and perhaps some new experiences," Kim said. "We try to help them enjoy quality time with us and the opportunity to experience day trips and things they haven't seen before."

They became foster carers four months ago for CatholicCare and they have helped a number of children in that time. Some children have needed care for a few days - which was an emergency care situation.

"It has fulfilled our hopes and our desire to give back to the community," Wayne said. "It's wonderful to give them your time and attention and it's rewarding to see the smiles on their faces."

Wayne and Kim both agree, it has been a positive journey which has helped them to fulfil their hopes.

"We've been very impressed with the support we've received from CatholicCare and they are always keen to communicate with us and support us on this journey," Kim said.

"They are well organised and they are good, genuine people who want to look after us and the children."

They both have found they are enjoying their new roles as carers and they enjoy the flexibility of doing this on their own terms, so they can still enjoy quality time together during their retirement.

Their advice to people thinking about becoming carers? "Make the call and start the process so you can find out more about caring," Wayne said. "There are so many different ways you can make a difference in the lives of children who need support."

Kim added, "There are so many children out there who need support."

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