Rachael and Tindi's fostering story
Foster carers from all walks of life play an important role in our community by creating a safe and supportive home for children who cannot live with their family.
In this blog, Rachael shares her and her husband Tindi’s fostering story.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves...
My name is Rachael and my husband’s name is Tindi and we live on 13 acres of bushland in Central Victoria. We have been foster carers with Cafs for three years now and have a gorgeous young boy in our care for the long-term.
We come from many different cultures in our house and it’s fun to have such a mix. There is lots of music and laughter in our home.
How did you prepare to become foster carers?
Everyone at our foster care agency has been very passionate about the child, his story and ensuring he has the best home to be safe and supported.
The foster care training gave us great insight into the importance of providing routine, structure, and consistency for children in our care. The more you can learn about child development and how their brains work, the better equipped you are to support them and understand the significance of having one consistent person in their life.
What have been the most memorable moments?
When Robbie* first came into our care, we noticed he was very hypervigilant and aware of his surroundings, and you could see he wasn’t sure how long he would be staying with us. But after six months, he really started settling in and relaxing.
He started asking for a ‘big strong cuddle’ from my husband and he was never afraid to ask for a cuddle when he needed it. This was so great to see because he didn’t initially have many male role models in his life, and it was so wonderful to see them develop a beautiful friendship.
The most memorable moments have all been the ‘firsts’, especially because he came into our care at three years old. Special moments such as the first time riding a tram, being on an airplane or going to the beach.
What role has your community played in your fostering journey?
We have several agencies and people who make up part of the care team. Robbie* has a very supportive environment wrapped around him. On top of that, I have an amazing family. My siblings, mum, aunties, and uncles have all welcomed the children in our care.
We have a wonderful respite carer who provides care for Robbie* when we need a weekend to ourselves here and there. Our respite carer has become like a second aunty to him and it’s great to be able to give him lots of consistent and caring people in his life.
The pandemic happened not long after we started fostering so we reached out to other foster carers. It’s been great to have other people who are going through the same thing to lean on.
How do you keep the children in your care connected to family and identity?
We’ve been thrilled to have built a very strong relationship with Robbie’s* mother as well as his paternal aunt and cousins who have been wonderful and have become part of our extended family.
I believe in Robbie’s* case, his biological family are doing the best they can, and we are all wanting the best outcome for Robbie*. As a result, we have a stronger and more loving relationship with the people who are important in his life.
We have a photo blanket above his bed that says he is loved by all his family. From the very beginning, I wanted to make sure he knew where he was from and know that he was loved.
What message do you have for people thinking about fostering?
It is everyday people taking on the fostering role. Foster carers are walking amongst the community, and we come in all shapes, sizes and different stages of life.
Being a carer is always worth it. The children are what we are doing this for, and they are always worth the time and energy you put into them. Providing routine and structure means so much for the child’s sense of safety and security. We are always willing to welcome children back into our care again if they need it.
Interested in becoming a foster carer?
Foster carers play a critical role in supporting children and young people in care to thrive. To learn more about becoming a foster carer, give us a call on 1800 013 088 or enquire online.