Fostering in Brisbane – Your heart, their home.
Are you and your family looking to become more involved in your local community? Have you been considering something that will involve all the family but have no idea where to start? If so, then this article may be just what you’re looking for and will perhaps set you on the road for an exciting and rewarding challenge.
There is a very real need for foster carers across Queensland to care for children and young people who are unable to live at home, particularly within the south east/south west corner of the State and more caring families are required to meet this need. Yet, it seems that many families or individuals do not know if what they are able to offer is indeed wanted or relevant. So let’s dispel a few myths about foster caring and set a few facts down for the record!
Who Can Foster in Brisbane?
Although foster carers come from all walks of life; they have varied life experiences and relationships; single or in partnerships; working or stay-at-home, one thing they have in common is a commitment to assist some of the most vulnerable children and young people in Queensland. Here are a few questions that might help you decide if now is the right time for you to care for someone else’s child:
Do you have the time to be a foster carer? Some foster carers look after children on a full-time basis, having taken time out of the workforce whilst caring for their own young children. However, if that’s not you, your skills might still be needed by providing weekend breaks that are fun for the child and a welcome ‘pit-stop’ for their primary carers.
Are you an empty-nester? You have the experience, the wisdom, and the demonstrated capacity to run the course! Are you ready to share your knowledge and skills with a child or young person who needs to learn a bit more about how families work?
Are your family and friends in this with you? Although all foster carers are supported by foster care agencies funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services having a solid network of dependable folk around you is essential.
And do you enjoy team work? Foster carers are crucial members of the care team around a child so knowing that you can contribute to that team can be fulfilling.
Above all else, is yours an inclusive family that could offer a nurturing home to a child or young person while their own family is assisted to resolve challenges? The uniqueness of your family means that what you have to offer could be just what is being sought for a child or young person, maybe for a few days, even weeks or longer.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster carer why not contact Mercy Community Services. You never know what your family might contribute and whose lives you might touch as a result!
By Sue Russell
Team Leader, Foster and Kinship Care Program
Mercy Community Services
This article was published in Issue 10 of our print magazine, June/July 2015.