Deb and Steve have been devoted foster carers since the early 2000’s. During this time, they’ve cared for over 100 young people, while also raising five of their own biological children. In this article, they share a glimpse into their lives as carers as they hope to inspire many others to open their homes to young people in need.
“My husband and I have provided a range of care to young people; including emergency and long-term placements. Our children have shown the same level of excitement as us each time we get a phone call about a child coming to stay with us. They would help put a ‘Welcome to the Haims’ family pack on their beds, containing age-appropriate items. Each pack would include a writing pad that we’d encourage the children to write their feelings in.
“We have an 18-year-old living with us who has been in care since he was five. He was only meant to be a short-term placement until the Department were able to find him a place to stay long-term. Due to his high care needs, it was difficult to find another foster carer for him. At the time, my husband and I were only taking on respite and emergency placements. However, a few days with him turned into weeks and then weeks turned into months and our whole family had fallen in love with him. We decided to keep him in our care.
“Since having him in our care, we have learnt sign language and have made huge adjustments to our lives. We’re now his legal guardian.
“Our household has always been full of children. During the first 10 years of being carers, we’d have 8-10 children in our home at one time. It became like a mini day care centre – very busy and very active. But we have lots of fun, with crafts and activities, movie nights and lounge room discos.
“My husband and our biological children are very supportive.
My husband is involved in the day-to-day care of each child.
“We work well as a team and were never affected by the many children in our home. Teamwork and routine are important when caring for any number of children.
“Each child that we’ve opened our home to has given us great satisfaction and joy. We know that we’ve been able to make a difference to them and their family.
“One of the main concerns we’ve had over the years is the fear of getting attached to them once they are reunified with their family. My advice to people thinking about becoming a carer
, is not to let that fear stop you. Instead, focus on the impact that you can have on a child while they are in your care.”
For more stories from our incredible foster carers, click here.