Since becoming foster carers, Mathew and Leonardo have explored different types of care for children and young people including respite, emergency and short-term care. Currently they provide long term care for two brothers aged five and ten.
With busy full-time jobs and active lifestyles, Mathew and Leonardo recognise the importance of self-awareness and capacity when caring for children, and with the support of MacKillop, are able to balance their busy lifestyle and commitment to the two boys in their care.
“We have relatively busy jobs and lifestyles, but that hasn’t actually stopped us,” comments Mathew.
“MacKillop support us through support workers when we need it, and work collaboratively with us with respite carers.
“When we went through training, if I had to travel for work, MacKillop was very patience with us. And when we pushed MacKillop on certain situations and topics, that was never an issue and they do nothing but try and support us.”
For Leonardo, the path to becoming a foster carer was inspired by Mathew having grown up with children in care.
“I didn’t know this world, to me everything was new,” explains Leonardo.
“When Mat brought the idea to me, I had lots of questions. The way Mat explained it to me and the importance and impact it can make to kids convinced me.
“Basically, anything that’s new or if there is a change, it’s never going to be easy because you are moving from your comfort zone into something completely new.
“Being a foster carer is rewarding and at times, it can be difficult. But there is a lot of support out there for foster carers. For someone who’s thinking about becoming a carer, I would say to talk more because you’ll find a lot of support around you and people who have experience and insight that they can share with you.”
Mathew adds: “Every kid needs the opportunity to be able to have a level of normality in their lives and stability, and we can offer that.”
“They deserve that. Kids deserve a safe place that they can grow up in so that they can thrive, and they can learn. And if others can’t provide that for them, there’s people in this world that can. So, why not?”