What’s involved in providing foster care?

All children and young people deserve to feel special, loved, safe and valued. They should laugh, play and enjoy their childhood free from fear and harm. Children should feel excited about their future, and have trusted adults teach them about kindness and compassion. For some children, this comes from foster care.

Foster carers have the potential to shape a child’s life and change their future. By caring for a child for a few days, months or years, carers enable a child to grow and learn about positive relationships and family interactions. Bonds develop between a child and their foster family that can last a lifetime.

Children and young people come into care when they do not have a parent that is willing and able to care for them, or protect them from harm. Children can be any age from zero to eighteen, and may have brothers and sisters who also need care.

It is the role of a foster carer to open their homes, and their hearts, to these children. Carers meet the child’s day to day needs, and give them time and encouragement to settle into their new environment.

 

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What are the pros and cons of providing foster care?

Being a carer is a very rewarding role, but can also be a challenging one. Children who come into care have been removed from the life they have known, and can be understandably frightened. Carers need to have the time and patience to get to know the child, and help them to feel calm and safe. With this support, care and consistency the potential in these children is limitless. Foster families uncover strengths, talents and beautiful traits in children that may have not been truly recognised before. They provide opportunities for children to thrive and blossom into the wonderful individuals they are.

To care for these children and young people, carers are needed from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Some carers have children of their own, some do not. Some carers are in relationships, some are single. And some foster families are only able to care for children on weekends and for short breaks. But all carers need to be compassionate, big hearted people! Carers are generally required to support a child to continue a relationship with their biological family, and work co-operatively with them and the Department of Communities (Child Safety).

 

How do I become a foster carer?

The process to become a foster carer is lengthy and thorough. It includes home visits, training, criminal history and child protection checks, as well as detailed interviews and assessments. There is support and advice given throughout the process, and opportunity for applicants to decide if it is the right time in their lives to take on this amazing role.

One agency on the Sunshine Coast that supports foster carers and their families is Life Without Barriers (LWB). LWB supports families from North Brisbane to Gympie, and everywhere in between. Skilled LWB staff provide regular home visits and 24-hour on-call support to foster families. Carers are provided with ongoing training, education and reflection opportunities, as well as invitations to social gatherings and events.

If you would like to find out more about this life changing role, please contact Life Without Barriers on 07 5457 4300. You will be invited to an information session to hear more about foster care, and whether it may be right for you and your family. As former young person in care Josh Shipp states, “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” Could that one caring adult be you?

By Natarsha Rehder, program manager, Life Without Barriers North Coast Region


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Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids events, attractions & things to do with kids, schools and education, school holiday guides, health & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

 

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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