Jade & Bob's fostering story
Tell us about yourselves...
My name is Jade, and my husband’s name is Bob. I am a teacher and Bob is a physiotherapist and we live in Melbourne’s South-east. We first became foster carers with Anglicare Victoria in 2016.
What made you decide to foster?
In the early days, we were newly married, had just bought a new house and had space in our home. We weren’t ready for our own children just yet and we had both had experience working with children, so we decided hey, why don’t we give this a go and help some little people through their journey?
How did the accreditation process prepare you?
We went to a couple of information sessions and learned about the different types of foster care. A lot was new to us and it was great to see that there are different types of foster care arrangements that suit what you are able to offer to a child.
We initially signed on as respite carers, did lots of training and we were impressed with how thorough the process was. There are a lot of different steps to the accreditation process but we were pleased to know there were checks and balances in place.
What’s been the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part of fostering is seeing kids grow and the impact of a nurturing home can have on them. Watching kids who have had a difficult start to life, or who haven't believed in themselves grow and being able to connect with sports or go on family holidays is very special. We are all about making memories.
What has surprised you the most?
We didn’t realise how great the need for foster carers was at first. If you don’t know someone fostering or a child needing care, it can be easy to become disconnected from what children in our community may be experiencing. There is sometimes a stigma attached but at the end of the day they are just like other kids and they just need a supportive home.
Also, what you might think for your own children, may not always work for children in care. The circumstances some children in care have been through puts them in a unique situation and you have to meet them where they are at. We have leaned into doing our own research and finding networks of other carers to get that shared experience.
How do you navigate saying goodbye?
Whilst saying goodbye to children in our care can be hard, focusing on the memories that have been created makes the goodbyes worth it. It's comforting to know that you’ve done everything you can to invest in their lives. We encourage people to not let the fear of saying goodbye as the reason to not welcome a child into your home.
We had two wonderful girls stay with us for two years and we were able to support them to be reunified with their family. It was a challenging journey, but we know our role was to provide a stable home and set them up surrounded by love and until they went home. We made sure the family had all the information they needed to know about the children and what was happening in their lives up till that point.
What makes a great foster carer?
I think a great foster carer is:
- Someone who is always willing to learn
- Some who acknowledge they are never going to know everything
- Someone who is invested in doing whatever it takes to help meet that child where they are at
- Someone who can be flexible, because as a foster carer things change a lot!
Interested in becoming a foster carer?
To learn more about becoming a foster carer, give us a call on 1800 013 088 or enquire online.