At the end of every year, thousands of us make a new year’s resolution… to get fitter, lose weight, take the next step in our career or finally go on that overseas holiday.
What about making a resolution to transform a child’s life, to provide stability and a supportive home for a child or young person in need – for a weekend, a few weeks or longer?
Like newly accredited foster carers Erin and Chris from the Sunbury area, north west of Melbourne. Earlier this year they made the selfless decision to become foster carers and they are now trained, ready and looking forward to welcoming a child into their home.
“We had been thinking about becoming foster carers for many years”, said Erin. “One night on my way home from work I saw a billboard calling for foster carers so I thought, right, let’s do this. We have three children aged 11, 6 and 4 years who are happy and loved. Let’s provide another child with the same support and care.
“We have just been accredited after a few months of training, interviews and checks. We are now able to provide respite care, short term and long term care. We are all set to go.”
Erin acknowledges that not everyone might be able to commit to long term care like themselves.
“You can commit to provide respite care - it might be one weekend a month out of your life but it can make such a difference in a child’s life while also giving their full-time carer a chance to recharge their batteries.
The accreditation process was really interesting and in-depth. It opened our eyes to see the different sides to abuse and neglect, why children are placed in foster care, and help prepare ourselves to therapeutically support children and young people.
“Next year will see some big changes in our family, but we are all ready. We hope in 2019 we can make a positive impact on a child’s life and create happy memories with our family.
“If you are thinking of becoming a foster carer, we urge you to give an agency like MacKillop Family Services a call. Their foster care enquiry operator can explain everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer and the different care options available.
“Your New Year’s resolution could change someone else’s life, and yours.”
MacKillop provides foster carers with training, regular respite, access to therapeutic specialists and financial support. If you are interested or to find out more, please call 1300 791 677 or visit mackillop.org.au/fostercare.