Dylan Nelson and Natalie Scotcher share their experience of becoming foster carers.
Foster carers come from all walks of life. But no matter who they are, carers all have one thing in common. Foster carers have a place in their hearts for a child who needs love and understanding.
Fostering starts with care. It's not always easy, but training and support is available. It's a special job that needs people with extraordinary hearts.
Natalie: So we were wildlife carers in Brisbane, and we needed more space for the animals. We moved out here to have a place where we could release our own animals. It's a really powerful thing, to be able to bring a child into our home. And it's not just about the child, it's about the family as well. There's a family there that we can help, and if we've got a room that we can offer a child while that family gets back together, then that's a great thing for us.
Dylan: We're a for now home, you know, and we realise that, and we just love them as much as we can while we've got them. When an indigenous child comes into care, Child Safety try and find a direct family member for them first, then they move down the line as far as trying to find an indigenous carer to care for them. It's really important that children that come into care that have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds are placed with culture, because there's things that you can't teach, and there's things that happen in our home that children are culturally supported in a way that is natural for us. So it's very important, and a lot of the children that we do get, because of my indigenous heritage, do identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. So three kids under two is a pretty busy house.
Natalie: It can be a bit chaotic at times. We definitely have to rely on a lot of routine. We've got a large support network that certainly step in and help us when we need, which does help.
Dylan: We've got a carer agency that looks after us. We've got family members. So my auntie, Nat's auntie, and our both of our parents play a big role. So anytime that we need any help at all, they're more than happy to step in and give us a hand.
Natalie: For a lot of our placements, we wouldn't have been able to continue with them if it wasn't for the supports.
Dylan: We currently have a two-year-old boy in our care we've had since birth, and we do know that, at some point, he's going to be going home. It's really, really hard for us, but deep down, we know that's the best thing for him, to be home with his family. We hope that any child that comes into our home feels safe and feel loved, and feels as though they have a place within our family. That's really important, that we want them to be very comfortable here.
Natalie: I hope that any child that leaves our care will know how much we did love them.
Dylan: It's definitely something that we would never give up.
Natalie: Being foster carers is our normal now. It's not something that we see as coming or going.
Dylan: Yeah. It's the hardest, but it's also the most rewarding thing we've ever done. Yeah.