Some people say they couldn’t be a foster carer, they’d get too attached to the children.
But Thurgoona’s Fiona King says that’s kind of missing the big picture.
“I sort of think the whole point of being a carer is to attach to a child or the children,” she said.
“That’s why you do it, it’s healthy.”
Mrs King and her husband David became foster carers about 13 years ago when their three daughters were aged six years and under.
After multiple placements of up to four youngsters at once for periods ranging from two hours to 12 years, the family now includes three primary school age children as well as their older daughters, two who attend university.
Reflecting on their experience during Foster Care Week, which ends Saturday, the Kings said they just really wanted to help those in need.
“I’ve always had little kids around me, I just adore children,” Mrs King said.
Their first foster child was a three-month-old baby girl who stayed until she was nearly one.
“I still remember them getting her out of the car and bringing her in, the girls were so excited,” Mrs King said.
“They get excited with each new child coming and they just take them on as their own sibling.”
“They’re part of the family,” Mr King added.
The Kings believe carers need to have time, patience, understanding and compassion, but people of any age could tackle the role.
“As long as you’ve got the maturity for it,” Mr King said.
“If one of us needs a break it’s like a tag team, ‘You’re in’,” his wife explained.
“We’re pretty ‘routined’, so things just seem to work, don’t they?”
The couple admits there is a grieving process when a foster child leaves them, but they have remained close to some of the families they’ve assisted.
“They come to our house, we have birthday parties together, we just are an extension to their family,” Mrs King said.
“I think with children they need to know who their family are and where they’re from to create their own sense of identity.”
Mr and Mrs King work with the Woomera Aboriginal Corporation out of home care team and value the support they receive.
The corporation will run an information session about foster care near the Olive Street entrance of Albury’s Myer Centrepoint between 10am and 2pm Saturday, September 15, in a bid to increase awareness and recruit more carers.
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here