It’s not every day that the young people in our care return to tell us the difference we’ve made, but when they do, it makes all the unconditional care and support offered by carers completely worth it.
When there is nowhere else to go for children and young people who are temporarily unable to live with family or foster carers, our residential care homes provide a safe and homely sanctuary where they can be cared for and supported by trained MacKillop carers and staff.
Carers like Tina, who recently shared a touching moment she describes as a highlight of her career.
Tina had previously cared for 15-year-old Noah* and his two older siblings for over a year after their parents passed away. The three siblings had lived together in the residential care home where she works for over a year, before moving to live with their uncle interstate.
Recently, while they were in town for a family wedding, Noah asked if he could visit his MacKillop family at the home he used to live in. The house supervisor decided to surprise Tina, and asked her to come to work early without explaining why. When she arrived to find Noah there, she was surprised and delighted.
She took Noah out to lunch at a place they used to visit regularly when she was caring for him, and he told her all about his new life. About his school that he now attends full-time, his rugby team, and also how he keeps in touch with his old housemate from his time in care, playing games with him online.
Tina was touched, as it was a rare opportunity to see the results of the care and support she offers to every child who comes through the home.
Remembering Noah being withdrawn, disengaged from school, and barely leaving his room when he arrived, Tina was so thrilled to see him looking happy now. And having worked with our Education teams to try and keep him connected to education, she was excited to hear that he is now completing year 11.
Before his uncle picked him up from his recent visit, Tina measured Noah on the height chart where all the children who lived in the home are recorded. He had grown 10cm since he had left. As they celebrated this, Tina reflected on how much he had grown as a person since they met.
Young people entering residential care require significant support and guidance, as many have experienced significant trauma, grief and loss. MacKillop supports young people in residential care to heal from past trauma in home-like environments, with access to therapeutic support. We have recently opened a new residential care home in Bendigo, and operate over 80 residential homes for young people unable to live at home across NSW and Victoria.