Roz opens her home to a sibling group in needJune 2, 2021
With two happy and healthy grown daughters of her own, Central Coast foster carer Roz felt drawn to help other children from more difficult backgrounds to experience a loving, stable home.
Roz began fostering almost 20 years ago when she took part in a short-term respite program with the Department of Community Services. Over a period of years, she offered 10 children a home-away-from-home during weekends, school holidays or other short periods.
One of the girls she had been fostering in the respite program was in need of a more permanent home and Roz didn’t hesitate to step in. She stayed with Roz for six years until she was 18, when she chose to return to her Mum, and she and Roz remain in touch. When Roz saw another opportunity for fostering advertised through CatholicCare she jumped at it.
“When I saw it advertised, I just knew I had to do it,” she says.
Roz was matched with three young sisters, ranging in age from 11 to 14, who have been part of her family for four years now.
“My girls had grown up and knowing there are so many children out there who are in need of care.
“I wanted to provide a nurturing home for the girls where they can be a family, and have family. Just to love them and care for them, to help fill the void, where they’ve missed out.”
She says the difficult circumstances which can result in a child being placed into foster care can result in significant trauma and challenging behaviours, but offering a stable and nurturing home can do much to help turn that around.
“There are always going to be challenges with children who’ve come from traumatic backgrounds and can’t remain in their home and it can certainly get quite busy, going to various appointments and liaising with schools, depending on their circumstances,” she says.
“But it’s so worth it. And when you can see the rewards, it far outweighs any challenges you experience.
“You just want to see them grow up to be successful, loving, respectful and to have all the opportunities that you know your children have had.”
Roz says her experience with CatholicCare has been nothing but positive and the team are always there to offer support.
“I can’t fault CatholicCare – their communication and dedication to offering programs and courses to build your fostering skills – it’s extremely good.
“In deciding on an agency to go with, they were my first choice and I haven’t looked back.”
Official figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that nationally, 55,300 children were in Out of Home Care during 2017–18.
“There is a real need for foster carers,” says Roz.
“You just want the children to feel safe and happy and have a lovely home life. I wish there were more people willing to give it a go. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Can you help a child in need? Please call (02) 4320 7777 or visit www.fostering.org.au.