This Father’s Day, MacKillop is celebrating foster care Dads. The men who step up and provide the kind of safe and stable environment, loving support and encouragement children and young people in care need to reach their potential.
Dads like Jason and Brent from the Illawarra region in NSW. Three years ago, they took the first steps on their journey to be foster carers. Before they approached MacKillop Family Services they had researched the reasons why children are in care and the best agency to support them. From this research they knew they could provide a child with the kind of home environment needed and so they approached MacKillop in Wollongong.
“We’ve been carers for three years now and currently care long term for three kids aged 3, 4 and 5 years”, said Jason. “We have also done a lot of weekend respite care for many different children, and emergency care.
Being a same sex couple, we knew that we would be unable to have a child of our own so we looked to foster care. Our experience as carers has been very fulfilling and rewarding, watching the children we care for grow and experience a loving home, no matter the length of time they have been with us. Our priority is always to make the children feel safe, secure and loved.
“For us, Father’s Day is a celebration of birth family and carers. In our house having three long term children we are celebrated as the children’s fathers but we also promote and support the children in celebrating their birth fathers.”
Jason and Brent believe all foster carers, like biological parents, need patience, time, security, consistency and the ability to be able to work as a part of a team for whatever the child may need.
“We try to bring out the best in children by allowing the child to express their own individual personality and style. We do this by allowing the child to talk at his or her own pace and never trying to make the child uncomfortable or feel like they aren’t wanted or accepted.
“As a parent you can rely on your own instincts to provide the best care for your child. As a carer, you still rely on your instincts but often you need to have the approval or feedback from a support team in many situations. Sometimes this can make parenting the children more of a challenge.
“But at the end of the day, we love to see the smiles on the little people’s faces and improving their journey in any way possible. We have so far enjoyed our foster carer journey and look forward to caring for many more children in our lifetime.”