Are you ready now, to make a positive difference in a child's life?

There are a number of ways you can support a child or young person who needs a safe place to stay.

Being a foster carer can involve weeks, months, years or a life-time commitment. Some children and young people return to their families after living with a foster carer for a short period of time and others need to be fostered in a family that can look after them on a permanent basis until they become independent. We have a number of children who are currently in need of immediate long-term care.

Some children and young people receive respite care, which is a regular care for one weekend a month or a fortnight, to give their parents or foster carer a break. Right now we need carers across all types of care.

All types of kids need all types of carers. Foster carers come from all walks of life. They are single, married, in a same-sex or de facto relationship, male or female, employed, studying or retired, and come from many cultural backgrounds. They may have children living at home, adult children who have moved out of the home or have no children of their own. Foster carers don’t need a big or ‘perfect’ house to foster a child or young person. They may own their own home or rent a unit, although they will need to have a spare bedroom for a foster child or sibling group.

Children and young people come into care with strong family ties. Maintaining connections with a child’s birth parents and extended families is vital for a child’s emotional and social wellbeing and development. Foster Carers play an important role in supporting these relationships along with a child’s connection to their cultural background and religious beliefs.

Could you become a foster carer?

We know it’s a big decision to make, so we have interviewed some of our current carers about what it’s like to be a foster carer and why they would recommend the experience – read their stories below.

Luke and Sam respite carers

Being a respite foster carer is fun and incredibly rewarding 

Two years ago, when their two daughters reached adolescence, Sam and Luke decided the time was right to look into fostering, as a way to make a difference in the community and do their part in making the world a better place.

Like many of our foster families, Sam and Luke decided that respite, rather than long-term fostering, was the right choice for their family. “Respite fostering is a great place to start because you can dip your toe in and make a difference without it taking over your life. We lead very busy lives, so we decided to start with what we knew we could do.”

Sam and Luke were approved as foster carers two years ago. Six months later, their first foster child came to stay. Read more about their experience and why they would recommend becoming a respite foster carer here. 
Colleen single foster carer

Can a single person be a foster carer? Colleen shares her experience

Colleen has a love for children, a background in teaching, and a supportive network of family and friends. She has been a foster carer for 10 years, looking after children on weekends and in emergencies. She says it is “one of the best things I have ever done in my life”.

Colleen refers to a famous African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” to express her views on raising children. For her, that means it takes a community of people, from all different walks of life, to help a child grow and learn. “I want to be part of the village,” she says. “I had a wonderful childhood and I want to ‘give back’ to the community in this small way.”

Read Colleen’s story and find out what traits she thinks that a foster carer needs here.
Linley and Philip foster carers

Caring for Kids Who’ve Experienced Trauma

Linley and Philip are long-term foster carers to children in the youngest age bracket. They are currently caring for a sibling pair, a girl (4) and a boy (5), who have been placed with them since they were newborns. The couple also have two biological children, a girl and a boy now aged 12 and 19.

Linley and Philip both describe growing up in stable, supportive families and not experiencing any traumatic incidents first-hand. Though they both have professional backgrounds within the nursing sector and Philip has worked within the crisis response world as a paramedic, it is the training they receive with The Benevolent Society which best prepares them to care for children who have experienced significant trauma.

Find out how Linley and Philip have met the challenges of foster caring while raising two kids of their own here.