Supporting children for three generations, and counting...

Posted on 11 April 2017 by Anna Masci

Foster carer Pauline at the opening of Hamilton office

Caring for children in need has been a focus of Pauline’s life for many years. Today, along with husband Shane and her family, Pauline continues to transform the lives of young people who cannot live with their families.

Years ago along with her parents, Fr Peter Hudson and the Nunan family, Pauline started a local Nobody's Children branch to fundraise for disadvantaged children.

“My family and I helped by looking after children from war-torn countries recover from extensive surgeries,” Pauline said.

This then led Pauline, Shane and family to begin their foster care journey on a local basis.

“My parents sponsored Vietnamese refugees some 35 years ago. Prior to that, my grandparent’s families were always there to help in any way they could with those in need.  I think it’s genetic!” Pauline said.

Pauline is passing this value onto her four children, who have grown up with foster children in the house.

“Growing up with foster children has been a positive experience for my children, it’s taught them to accept others less fortunate than themselves with respect, patience and tolerance,” Pauline said.

Today, Pauline, Shane and their family are supported in their foster care journey by MacKillop Family Services.

“Foster care can sometimes be tough but MacKillop are always there when I need them, always at the end of the phone line and ready to help in any way they can,” Pauline said.

For the past two years, Pauline has been supported by an outreach service from Warrnambool. This month, to better support children and young people in care in Hamilton – and their foster carers – MacKillop has opened an office in Hamilton at the Maryknoll Centre.

Pauline encourages others in Hamilton to consider being foster carers.

“Foster caring can be challenging but support is available 24 hours a day and the rewards are ten-fold.

“The best thing about being a foster carer is seeing the positive changes in the child; to see sad eyes finally sparkle and smile and a random hug when you think all is lost…..these little things are just so huge.

“All you need is a bucket full of patience, acceptance, understanding, compassion and love. In ordinary ways LOVE can do amazing things,” Pauline said.

“We need new carers in our region, if not the whole of Australia. If you have been thinking about fostering, attend an information session and have your questions answered. You won’t regret it,” Pauline said.

MacKillop Family Services will be holding three information sessions in April for anyone interested in becoming a foster carer in the Hamilton region. No commitment is required.

  • Thursday 20 April 2017 12–1.30pm & 5–6.30pm
  • Saturday 22 April 2017 10–12pm
  • Thursday 27 April 2017 10–11am & 3–4pm

“My greatest wish for children in foster care is for them to grow into young adults with good, strong values and morals who will have been taught life skills to enable them to live a happy, self-sufficient life and are able to contribute to society appropriately in their chosen life’s path” Pauline said.

Photo credit: Hamilton Spectator