Sydney couple, John and Jonathan, have been foster carers for almost a year now to Drew, Robbie, and May.
Becoming foster carers was something they had always wanted to do.
“We are both very family orientated and caring for children who need it most felt like the most natural decision we could make.
“It has been great seeing our families embrace the children into their own lives.”
The couple started fostering through Key Assets after researching other agencies.
“Key Assets are consistently awarded for their support of the LGBT community which gave us great comfort in knowing we would be treated equally throughout the fostering process,” Jonathan said.
John and Jonathan are currently looking after three children on a permanent basis but are keen to take on even more in the long-run.
“We will be looking after Drew, Robbie, and May until they are adults but there is a huge need for carers to provide care for mid to late teens and we would like to contribute in this way later in life too,” John said.
When asked about what the most unexpected learnings were from fostering, the couple said the level of support they received from friends, family and the wider community.
“We did not expect the level of support we have received. Whilst friends and families have of course been encouraging, word that you are fostering three children spreads quickly and almost one year on, work colleagues, associates, old acquaintances and the like are still quick to learn more and extend their support in their own way,” John said.
Jonathan tells us the most rewarding part of fostering are the simple things that are taken for granted.
“The simple act of cooking and sharing a meal is rewarding in itself. Watching them eat something new for the first time, which they love, and having them thank you for it and ask if they can have it again is really a great feeling,” he said.
“The relationship and bond between each child is unique but we are also growing tighter as a family unit. The collective of the five of us and the knowingness that they have been kept together as a family has slowly allowed the children to truly feel safe, and being part of their on-going development makes the experience of fostering very rewarding.”
When asked what the most challenging part of being a foster carer is, the couple said managing the difficult behaviour of the children but it was becoming less frequent as the children settled.
“Certainly, complex behaviours can be challenging but the consistency we provide has allowed the kids to settle,” John said.
“Fostering has changed our lives, it’s changed the lives of the children we care for and it continues to be an incredible life journey.
“If anyone is thinking about becoming a foster carer, pick up the phone and start the conversation. Things can develop as fast or as slow as you want them to, but it takes the first step of enquiry to get things started.”
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, visit www.iwanttofoster.com.au or call Key Assets on 1800 WE CARE.