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Kristy’s fostering story

This International Women’s Day, we take a moment to appreciate the incredible contributions that women make to society and thank the women we work with for their inspiring commitment to the wellbeing of children and young people. Incredible women just like Kristy, who shares her story as a single foster carer.

Kristy has no misgivings about being a single foster carer.

“It’s hard, but parenting is hard anyway,” describes Kristy.

It’s probably the most rewarding thing I have every done with my life.

– Kristy

A foster carer to two young girls, Kristy always wanted to become a foster carer at an early age. Despite growing up without her biological mother and raising her eldest daughter on her own at the age of 27, Kristy’s upbringing and experiences in a single-parent environment did not discourage her desire to support others and make a difference to those in need.

When her eldest daughter left for university, leaving a spare room for Kristy and her 8-year-old son, Kristy felt it was the right time to become a foster carer.

“My son benefits from having the two girls around,” comments Kristy.

“He’s learnt so much about compassion and empathy. And while they fight like brother and sisters, they are so protective of each other at the same time.”

The two girls in Kristy’s care, Abby* and Chloe*, are complete opposites when it comes to personality. Abby, who has just started kinder, is sweet, soft-hearted, and caring. Her younger sister, Chloe, is a firecracker of a personality and has just started day care.

Life in a single carer household can be challenging and Kristy explains having to navigate the complexities of providing care to children with a trauma background.

“I find it hard when I see the trauma in them. Abby and Chloe have global developmental delays and Abby is starting to realise she’s different to other kids in term of capabilities. She tries really hard and I’m always there to just keep reassuring her.

“She’s enrolled in different therapies, and it can be tiring, but I look at the things she’s accomplished, and it keeps us going. When Abby first came into my care, she couldn’t talk to strangers, and now she will talk to kids in the park. She can ride a bike without training wheels.

“That progress is priceless and that makes it worth every bit.”

Being a carer is hard work. And being a sole carer has its own set of pressures, but through respite and a network of like-minded carers, Kristy has established her own village to help her stay grounded and give her time to recharge.

“I think respite is really important as a single carer and I’m lucky that I’ve got a regular and wonderful respite carer. Sometimes, it’s nice just to have me time to have lunch with my friends.

“I also keep regular contact with a group of friends who are also carers. Just to have a chat with them, whether it’s asking for their advice, things that have worked, or even vent sometimes allows you to feel better.

“Because we speak the same language and have similar experiences, they can understand what I’m saying and where I’m coming from.”

Loving families come in all shapes and sizes. Whether single or partnered, foster carers have a unique opportunity to uplift and lay the groundwork so that children and young people can thrive. For other single carers thinking about fostering, Kristy says: “Obviously, it’s hard, but you’ll never find a more rewarding job.”

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, visit or call 1300 791 677.

*Names changed to protect privacy