The Big Issue : Edition 536
My very first foster care placement went for less than 24 hours, but it created a memory to last a lifetime. We were sitting in the kitchen eating homemade bread, when I offered to show her how it was done. As we measured the flour, she opened up about how she had always had an interest in cooking. I guess for a child or young person who may not have had the opportunity to cook at home, doing something as simple as baking can mean a lot. It was as straightforward as her wanting to learn and me being there to spend the time with her and to teach her. A week later she called me up and asked for the recipe so she could make it again. It’s hard to explain the feeling you get when you realise that such a small thing has made such a big impact on a young life. Becoming a foster carer was something that had been in the back of my mind for a long time before I decided to take the leap. But, as a 30-something professional, I realised that I had the ability to make a difference to a young person’s life, and that there is no time like the present. I really enjoy having the kids around, and the dynamic energy they bring to the house. I currently look after one young person full-time and another young person comes to stay with me once a month on the weekend. I would definitely recommend being a foster carer to anyone who is keen, and would say that all you really need is to be interested in children and young people, and to want to provide a safe environment where they can grow in confidence. There are many different forms of foster care, from emergency care through to long-term care, and I have found that it’s quite easy to fit it into my lifestyle. No matter how long someone is with you, the stability you can give them during that period makes a world of difference. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me, and it’s a privilege to have foster children in my life. Anna Burke, Foster Carer The smallest act can make the biggest difference for a child in need ADVERTISEMENT For more information on becoming a foster carer, please visit fosteringconnections.com.au or call 1800 013 088.