Foster Care for Brisbane Kids | We are their Village
By Foster Mum Rose Pearse
In Australia we have a very sad statistic. The number of foster carers is going down and the number of kids in care is going up. What’s wrong with that picture? In my mind, I think it has to do with the way in which we are connected (or not) to each other.
I am a foster carer. I’m not a ‘mother of the year’ or ‘supermum’ kind of foster carer. I’m just a regular person. I have my good and bad points. I wasn’t always a foster carer but I’ve been ‘caring’ now for 6+ years. Enough time to gain a bit of experience and enough time to have been on the swings and the roundabouts. Enough time to know if being a foster carer is something I really want to be. Turns out it is.
When I started out on this journey I was fairly idealistic. I wanted to make a contribution to my local community. I figured that if I wanted to live in a community that cared about me, then I needed to do something that demonstrated the values that are important to me. These days, it’s more about the practical reality of just being a parent. It’s become part of who I am and how I live and it’s incredibly satisfying despite the challenges.
Most people think ‘I could never be a foster carer, I’d get too attached to the kids’. Wait a minute! Ask yourself if you’d be willing to care for your nieces or nephews if there was a family crisis? Would you love them despite the hardship of the circumstances? Care for them as long as they needed you? Would you be willing to hand them back to their parents once the crisis was over?
Yes, you get attached to these little people who come into your life. You don’t stop loving them because they are no longer in your care. It’s good to know that someone is able to help when there is a need and I am happy to be able to be one of those people who puts their hand up when it comes to the kids in my community.
Foster caring is not for everyone. Most people are busy raising their own kids, they have their own challenges and may not be in a position to be able to care for others as well. Some people are just not suited for the job. However…there are so many small things you could do and endless ways in which you can be a part of making your community reflect the kind of values you strive to grow in your family.
Allowing your own children see you act on this and encouraging them to be a part of it will raise you up in their eyes. It helps them to understand one of the most important things in life – that we are in this together.
Whatever the circumstances may be in your life, I really encourage you to think of ways in which you might be able to help those children in your community who are most vulnerable. These children are ours. We are their village.
Rose Pearse blogs at http://lovemanytrustfew.wordpress.com/
Foster & Kinship Care Week 2013, March 3 – 9
Information on how to become a foster carer http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/childsafety/foster-care/become-a-foster-or-kinship-carer
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