We all know that there are not enough foster carers to look after the numbers of children who need safe and loving homes.
Foster carer Ang Vredenbregt is doing her best to get more of her friends and family to think about becoming carers and she’s delighted that her sister has just become an accredited carer, but Ang thinks more people in the community could step up and help out.
Ang and Nicolaas Vredenbregt from Hoppers Crossing have been foster carers with MacKillop for almost ten years. As well as looking after three children in permanent care, twin brother and sister aged eight and a younger boy who is almost four, they regularly help out by providing respite care and short-term care for kids who might be with them for a few nights or a few months.
It can be full on and there is never a dull moment at our house. We’re lucky that our older children were happy to chip in and lend a hand, even when they were teenagers ten years ago when we started foster care. Looking back, we couldn’t have done it without them.
“We’ve looked after the twins since they were just weeks old when they were babies recovering from drug withdrawal. All three children deal with different challenges and as a family, we do everything we can to support them.
“I find it difficult to say no when I get the call from MacKillop about another child who needs a safe place to stay. At the moment, I am also looking after a six-month-old baby who has been with us since he was three weeks old. We bring him to visits with his Mum and his older siblings and we’re just helping out while Mum gets help to get her life back on track.”
Ang says that many people have no real idea that there is such a need for foster carers in their local area.
“People often ask why they see me at the local school with different children and babies. When I tell them I am a foster carer, they are genuinely surprised that so many kids in our area need safe homes.
“My own sister has just become an accredited carer and I honestly think that it’s something many more people should think about. Yes, it might be hard work, but the rewards you get back from seeing children thrive are worth it all, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” added Ang.