Foundation of Fostering is Love
- No mould you need to fit
- No need to be someone you’re not
- You aren’t left alone
Across Queensland, there are children who, for many reasons, cannot stay in their family home. Their experiences can be confronting and traumatic. However, through the care and generosity of foster carers in our community children are provided with a safe and supportive place to stay, and they are making a positive and lasting difference for a child when they need it most.
Our Foster and kinship carers are unsung heroes and often under-acknowledged powerhouses in our community. Without them opening their hearts and providing a safe and nurturing home, there would be far-reaching social implications.
While there are thousands of foster carers across Queensland, there is a need for many more.
Amanda Moormann from UnitingCare explains that being a foster carer is often something people think about, but they have perceived misconceptions that often can stop a person from enquiring to find out more.
"We commonly hear 'I'm not qualified' or 'I have no experience' or 'I wouldn't meet the requirements to be a carer,' she said.
"But the reality is, anyone who has a desire or that spark to want to make a positive impact on a young person's life has the potential to be a foster carer.
"There is no pre-set mould they have to fit, and we don't try and make people fit one.
“It’s absolutely true that single-parent families, retirees, same-sex couples, full-time working parents, full-time stay at home parents, diverse cultural backgrounds and any mix of that and more can become a foster carer and provide a stable, safe and loving home.
"Which is why we work closely with our potential carers to learn about them, their lifestyles and how fostering a child would work in their circumstances”, Mrs Moormann says.
“Our team is here to support anyone interested to find out more about the process and what's involved in becoming a foster carer”.
The Jones family recently became foster carers after initially thinking they may not meet the requirements.
“When we applied, we weren’t sure what to expect, we really appreciated the support from the UnitingCare Foster and Kinship Care worker through the whole process, they really helped and made it easy to navigate,” Ms Jones stated.
“The process was quicker than we initially thought, and we must admit, even after doing the training and the assessment to becoming approved, we were still nervous when approached to care for a child.
“We weren’t sure what to expect, after discussions with Greg our worker, we were reassured and said yes.
“We have not looked back, we have loved becoming a bigger family and seeing the positive difference we are making for this young person, we wouldn’t change a thing,” Ms Jones said.
Mrs Moormann explained that, most importantly, they want anyone who has ever considered or thought about becoming a foster carer is that it is a team approach.
"The reality is, taking on the responsibility of a child into your home is massive. We never underestimate it. From the moment you apply to welcoming a child into your home, and then when the time may come for that child to leave your home- you are supported every step of that journey.
"There is training, counselling, mentoring support, carer network groups you can attend, and you receive a fostering allowance and our expert team are there to provide ongoing support.
"We hope to take some of the challenges people consider overwhelming away through our support.
“Ultimately, being a foster carer is incredibly rewarding, with so much to gain, as you get to give security and comfort to a young person.
“Being able to offer that and knowing you are making a difference in keeping a child safe.
“We need more people to be able to help the many children that need to be cared for,” Mrs Moormann said.
UnitingCare sends its heartfelt thanks out to all foster carers, past and present, during this Foster and Kinship week. Thank you for making a difference to so many.