Sisters Bec and Susie from Grafton in New South Wales, work together as foster carers to provide safe homes for children who are unable to live safely in their own homes.
Bec, a registered nurse working in paediatrics, had wanted to be a foster carer for many years, but worried that being single would make it difficult to become a carer.
“I spent a lot of time online looking for stories about other single foster carers and wondering if it was something I could do before I made an enquiry. I was so happy when they said that of course single people can be foster carers and I immediately signed up to do the training.
39-year-old Bec is the eldest of six children and she loves spending time with all her nieces and nephews.
Kids have always been part of my life and it’s fantastic to be able to share my home with children who need love and support when they can’t stay safely with their own family. The best thing for me is seeing a child who is timid and quiet become confident and assertive when they feel supported and secure.
During her foster care training, when Bec was participating in the ‘Shared stories-shared lives’ training module, she asked her sister, Susie, if she would like to come along.
“My younger sister Susie is also a registered nurse and as we live together, I’d tell her all about foster care training when I would return home. She was intrigued and attended a training session with me. When she heard what is involved and why there is a need for carers, she knew she could provide support for children as well, so she also enquired and started her training and accreditation,” Bec said.
Bec and Susie now share Guardianship of two-year-old David* and are in the process of Guardianship of four-year-old Jessie*.
“They are fabulous kids. Jessie has been with us since she was a baby and she has had to deal with health issues. I am so proud of how she has progressed and she takes all the hospital appointments in her stride. She is a real little character and everyone who meets her loves her,” Bec added.
“We have great relationships with the children’s families. Both sets of grandparents bring presents for the two kids when it’s their birthday or Christmas."
Jessie’s family are happy that she is in an environment where she is loved, safe and secure. We support her to maintain a connection to her family and culture so that she will always know who she is and where she comes from.”
Bec says becoming a foster carer has enriched her life.
“I’m so glad I enquired about foster care. Seeing the kids we look after thrive and be happy is the best feeling. Of course there are challenging days, but that’s nothing to the rewards you get from supporting a child to achieve their full potential,” added Bec.
*Name changed to protect privacy