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Helping kids find their happy place

Close to three years on from our last visit to foster carers Brooke and Glen in Port Hedland, WA, we caught up with them again to hear how Sara* and Eva* and the family are settling in after their trip to northern WA to discover more about the girls’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.

“We enjoyed our journey so much that we bought a caravan and decided to see as much of the state as we could while the kids were still young enough,” Brooke says.

“We’ve been to the Margaret River, the Pilbara and lots of places in between. It’s been great for the girls and our two boys to learn all about the history of the land and the girls love finding out about their culture.”

The sisters, Sara aged 10 and Eva, who is eight, have lived with Brooke and Glen and their two boys for five years.

“They are both doing incredibly well, and we are so proud of them”, Brooke adds. “Both girls excel at sport and Sara made the state championship team in basketball. They both play in the local footy team, our family lives revolve around training and matches,” laughs Brooke.

Sport is where Sara shines and we feel it is our privilege to support her to be her best. That is one of the greatest things about being a foster carer; you get to play a part in encouraging a young person to find out what they want to do and supporting them on their journey to achieve that goal and find their happy place.

– Foster carer, Brooke

The girls also attend local Aboriginal art classes, and they continue to learn about their culture. They are also developing a relationship with their mother and Brooke encourages them to talk to Mum once a week on the phone or over Skype and they visit her in the school holidays.

“We’ve learned alongside the girls about their background and culture. We seek out opportunities for them to keep learning and develop their connection to community and culture. It’s enriched all our lives,” Brooke says.

Being in a foster care family has also been a valuable learning experience for the boys. They understand that some families face hardships for a whole variety of reasons and that it’s good for the community to help when parents are unable to look after their kids by themselves. As far as they’re concerned, this is how it should be and we’re just an everyday, ordinary family.

– Foster carer, Brooke

Although the kids might have grown too big for the caravan now, Brooke says they all love travelling so much that they’re looking at new ways to continue the travel bug.

“We’re planning more camping trips as everyone loves to get out into the country. We’re in such a beautiful part of the world and it’s what the kids love best, so watch this space to see where our adventures take us next,” laughs Brooke.

*Names changed to protect identity