Belinda and Callum's fostering story

Belinda and Callum's story truly show that foster families come in all different shapes and sizes. 

Between the couple, they currently have twelve children and young people in their care. Six who are their biological children and six children and young people in foster and kinship care. 

There wasn't always a dozen children running around their home. It all began in 2016 when Belinda and Callum first started out as kinship carers, providing care for a group of siblings who they knew through their community, before then going on to becoming accredited foster carers.  

Becoming a foster carer is something that Belinda said she had always considered doing when the time was right. "Once our own children were older and more settled down, we were so excited to become foster carers and to be able to open up our home for more children," Belinda said.  

How do they find the space to raise twelve children? Belinda and Callum live on a 5-acre property on the Morning Peninsula, which they say is an incredible environment to raise children. 

"One of the best things is coming home to our property and driving through the gates to see the older boys all playing cricket together in a wide open space. We feel really lucky to be able to give these young people this environment to grow up in''.  

Many of the children in their care are approaching their teens and are naturally seeking more independence. Belinda and Callum have made the most of their 5-acre property over the last couple of years, building independent units, or 'pods' as they call them. The  ‘pods‘ create space and opportunity for their older children to develop their independence whilst still remaining connecting to the busy 14-person household.  

Belinda and Callum are particularly passionate about supporting young people in their care to build confidence and develop skills to be able to thrive independently. They find this especially important where a young person may have disengaged with school or have complex needs.  

They are also passionate about supporting young people in their care to be included at school. Belinda recognises the extra support that children in care need to thrive in their education. "Because of some of the trauma or instability children have experienced in their lives it can affect their ability to concentrate at school. It can also affect their ability to build positive relationships with their peers and their teachers and also impact their self-esteem".  

Belinda shares that understanding how children in their care engage with school and being able to advocate for them is key. "It’s important to be their voice as the kids can’t always be that voice for themselves." 

"I am lucky that I am able to be very involved with school. I am able to go in and meet [the child] at the school if something is going wrong, get them a milk shake and support them to go back into the classroom." 

The couple draw on their own skills and strengths to support the children to develop their own confidence. Callum is a diesel mechanic and often spends time with the older children in the shed teaching them valuable life skills like how to change a tyre or how to use different tools and equipment.  

"Callum is very passionate about giving young people knowledge and skills that will benefit them, especially in the future." 

Belinda shared that after driving home one day she noticed a flat tyre on her car, and one of the boys came over and said, "I can fix that for you." They proceeded to replace the tyre with total confidence. These are hugely rewarding experiences, Belinda says, and are a reminder of how the seemingly small moments of fostering children can be the biggest impact.  

Other proud moments for Belinda and Callum include teaching one young person to drive, supporting another to graduate from 'Tools for the Trade ’program and helping young people learn to navigate public transport so they can attend appointments independently. 

"Watching the transformation we’ve been able to make in their lives. Seeing the skills they have learned in the time in your care. It's incredibly rewarding" 

Whilst Belinda and Callum recognise the hard parts of fostering children, they say that wouldn't change a thing about their experience.  

"Fostering is our world. And we wouldn’t change it for the world. They are the most incredible kids I’ve ever laid my eyes on." 


A photo of Belinda and Callum standing outside and holding hands,

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