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A Family for Life

Once you have entered the Connors family, you are part of their family for life.

That is the mantra of foster carers Ann and David Connors, who have been carers with MacKillop Family Services for 24 years.

Ann’s parents were foster carers, and she always knew it was something she wanted to do.

“I’ve always loved working with children and told David right at the start of our relationship that I was going to be a foster carer. Luckily, he was open to finding out more about what was involved. We waited until our own three children were a little older and started as foster carers when our youngest daughter was eight,” Ann says.

Ann and David hold a wealth of knowledge which they generously share with MacKillop’s new foster carers, as leading lights in the Circle Program, a therapeutic foster care program that provides a care environment focused on healing the traumatic impact of abuse and neglect.

Ann says foster care is an “all hands on deck” activity and her grown up children continue to be a huge support when looking after the little ones.

“We’ve mostly looked after babies and toddlers, especially in later years. We currently have 20-month-old Ava* with us who is absolutely adorable and she keeps us on our toes,” laughs Ann.

“We’re in a daily whirlwind of appointments and meetings, as an important part of our work is supporting the children we look after to rebuild relationships with their family.”

Ava sees her Mum regularly and Ann has started taking her to see her grandma. Mum had been in a violent relationship, which led to mental health issues. She is now recovering, and cherishing the space to nurture her young daughter.

Ann says, “Often, foster carers step in at a time when people are under pressure, or they could be ill. We can safely care for children who are vulnerable during that time.

“I feel so privileged that we have been able to support families to get back together again when their problems are resolved.”

Being part of their family isn’t limited to the children they care for. Ann and David remain in regular contact with several families they have worked with, and have received countless cards, photos, and heart-felt messages over the years.

“David and I love to hear from the children and parents we have helped in the past and with around 70 kids over the years, we get a lot of updates!”

*Name changed to protect privacy