When a newborn comes into the world with prenatal methamphetamine exposure (PME) they need a very special kind of care.
So, when baby Melissa* was referred to Challenge Community Services for out-of-home care, they contacted their lovely carers Grace* and Adam*.
Melissa made significant progress in Grace and Adam's care, but after a few months they could see that Melissa wasn't developing as she should be.
Suspecting she may have brain injury as a result of the PME, the couple contacted their Challenge Community Services' caseworker who put them in touch with medical specialists who could help Melissa.
People who choose to support children and young people in foster care are unique individuals who perform a vital role in the community.
Looking after the welfare of a child in care is a team approach involving the birth family and friends, the foster care agency, case worker, health professionals, Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and the child's school.
"Matching a child with the right carer is vitally important," says Kayla Bevear, carer compliance officer with Challenge Community Services.
"These are children who have often experienced or witnessed traumatic events through no fault of their own. This makes the work of a foster carer unique - at a time of great need, carers provide a safe and loving haven."
The goal with out-of-home care is always to restore the child to their family of origin provided it is safe to do so within two years of the child being placed in care.
As a foster carer, this means accepting that the child or young person may return to their family of origin.
Despite these uncertainties, many foster carers say fostering is hugely rewarding and worth every minute.
Many people say becoming a foster carer was the best decision they ever made.
Quietly dedicating themselves to nurturing children in need, there are people in our community opening their homes and their hearts. The sad reality is, there are more children in need than there are foster carers.
Challenge Community Services welcomes people from all walks of life. Whether you're single or in a relationship (including same sex) the first step is to contact Challenge Community Services and talk to someone about your circumstances.
Are you ready to turn around the life of a child or young person in need?
Find out more at Challenge Community Services on 1800 084 954, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to challengecommunity.org.au
- *Names changed and models used to protect privacy