Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : May 2, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017 - PAGE 27
Foster Carers Needed!
afraid, *Kylie entered Foster
Care through SalvoCare East-
ern in December 2014.
She was shy and engaged in
self-harming behaviours as a
response to the uncertainty of
where she would live, feeling
rejected by her family and ter-
rified of what lay ahead.
Kylie refused to engage
with workers as this trig-
gered memories of the work-
ers who removed her from
her mother’s care.
With a safe and stable en-
vironment and support and
nurturing from her carer, Kylie
has slowly began to trust and
let people get close to her. She
has developed close relation-
ships, made friends and begun
to believe in herself and the
world around her.
Today, 18 months on and
with continued support, Kylie
is a confident young 14 year
old lady who is flourishing at
school. She enjoys a range of
activities including netball and
music. Kylie also uses writing
as a way of expressing her feel-
ings and experiences.
Kylie now looks back on this
time and is so proud of how
far she has come.
This is Kylie’s own autobio-
graphical account of her jour-
ney so far in foster care:
“It’s as if my world came
crashing down. The move
came so quick, I felt so un-
loved, emotionless at times.
“So many people I didn’t know
taking me to places, asking me
questions. And at the end of the
day, I came home, but it wasn’t
home yet. To me it was a tem-
porary place, everything was
always temporary for me, and
you’d never stay in one place.
“I was shy, too scared to exit
my bedroom, for days, weeks
“But no matter what I did,
my carer always forgave me.
“A few months went by, and
I found myself saying home,
and meaning it. I found myself
relaxed and knowing I wasn’t
“We always have this belief
that nothing will get better,
whether it’s something small
from someone judging you
by the colour of your flesh, to
your family collapsing into ru-
ins because your parents just
weren’t made to be parents.
“It does get better, I didn’t be-
lieve it either. It’s scary, it is. It
“I’m not going to lie, but I
want you to know that your
past does not determine who
you are; it will only make you
stronger. You will have learnt
things some kids your age
probably don’t know.
“Just remember we are all
human at the end of the day,
and you can’t let your flower
bloom without letting it grow
through the dirt.”
*The young person’s name
has been changed for the pur-
pose of this article.
MY JOURNEY as a foster carer started 14
years ago when my youngest son who was 14,
brought home a new friend named Jack.
It was discovered Jack was having serious is-
sues at his family home and it was decided he
would stay with me and my son. Although he
was only with us for a short time, this experience
changed my life forever and got me started on
the path of fostering.
I have had the joy of many children in my care
over the years, where I have had the opportu-
nity to give them a safe home environment where
they can just be kids.
It can be heart breaking at times when some
kids arrive at your home with nothing more than
a grocery bag, which might have a book, a pair
of PJs and if you are lucky a change of clothes.
When one leaves you are then busy getting the
room ready for the next one.
I always have spaghetti bolognaise made ready
in the freezer in case they come and haven’t eaten
The kids love stories, cuddles and going on
picnics. I always try my best to share new ex-
periences with them, such as teaching them to
cook or knit.
Most people I speak with about my fostering
journey ask; “But how can you give them back
after looking after them for so long? It must be
My answer to them is always the same; “Yes it
is difficult and sad when they go home to their
family, but I know I have given them a good ex-
perience and hope that staying with me will have
a genuine and positive experience in their lives.”
I know I have done my best to offer them a
refuge, a place to call home no matter how long
they have been with me and there will soon be
another which I can help just as equally.
These kids have also taught me a lot about be-
ing a parent and a foster carer.
They show unconditional love for their parents
even after they at times have been through so
much. As a carer you need to nurture the bond
and love they have for their parents, because
when things get better at home they will be re-
I agreed to look after a small baby for emer-
gency care who I was only going to have for one
night... Ten years later he is still in my care now
as a long term placement, meaning I have per-
manent care of him.
So yes, my life has changed drastically from
before I began in foster care, but I would have it
no other way now.
This is my journey of fostering and although
it has its challenges it is also very rewarding - it
fulfils my life!
Please think about becoming a foster carer if
you are single, or have your own family it will
enrich your life too.
There are so many options that are available;
emergency, respite, short term and long term.
There is no stereotypical carer. We come from all
walks of life. Single, married, gay, lesbian, work-
ing or not working, old or as young as 21. All
it takes is for you to say ‘Yes, I can do this’. Put
your hand up and give it a go!
For further information on how to become a
foster carer, give SalvoCare Eastern a call on
THE Leongatha Girl Guides group is in des-
perate need of volunteers to help run the unit.
A junior Guide unit is running with 11 active
members that are enthusiastic, fun loving and
friendly, however, new leaders or unit helpers
are needed to keep the unit running and hope-
fully expand numbers.
Girl Guides is an ethics based organisation
that strives to enable girls to become active
community leaders of the future.
It challenges girls to be the best they can be.
Being a Girl Guide volunteer is very reward-
ing and a great way to learn new skills.
Girl Guides have a training program for all
new leaders that supports and develops the
skills needed to develop and run a varied and
All volunteer costs are covered by Girl Guides.
If you are interested in becoming a Girl Guide
leader or unit helper or you think you could help
out in some other way, then contact District man-
ager, Chris Oliver (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Re-
gion manager, Sue Viney (email@example.com).
Come and join the fun!
Calling for ‘help’ are Leongatha Guides, from left, Ayla Jones, Charlie-Rose Graham-Cross,
Phoebe Helps, Olivia Helps, Erica Begg, Kaydee Jones, Savannah Interlandi, Rubyann
Kuffer, Charlotte Cashin; front, Erin Dooley and Georgia Lawry.
How far she’s come with
home-based care program
As told by a foster carer
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