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Giving children a safe home with MacKillop Family Services | Mercury of Illawarra

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Children in care are looking for people like you to become CatholicCare foster parents to provide them with love, care and a sense of belonging. Photo provided

Foster Kate had a nagging feeling that wouldn’t go away. Over and over she kept thinking the same thought… I’m supposed to be a foster family.

She had a great childhood, grew up with lots of cousins, she was active in gymnastics and she was always surrounded by lots of children.

Her foster care journey was inspired by reading about foster care in a series of books by British author Cathy Glass.

Kate started talking to loved ones around her, to make sure they were okay with her decision.

Once she had the support of her family and friends, she called CatholicCare and began the process of becoming a foster parent.

“I started with respite care,” Kate said. “But, things really fell into place when I started doing short-term placements, which offered more time to connect with the kids and help them feel safe and supported.”

Kate is also pragmatic about foster care.

“Don’t get me wrong, it can be very tough and difficult to deal with children who have experienced trauma,” she said. “But it’s so rewarding to work with them through those moments that make your blood pressure boil.”

Eighteen months ago, Ellie* (name changed for confidentiality) was cared for by Kate. Kate loved watching her grow up and enjoying things like swimming, dancing and hanging out with friends.

“Fostering feels very natural to me,” Kate added. “I went from living alone, absorbed in my own needs and career development, to finding balance and peace in my life.

“I love devoting my time and energy to Ellie’s needs and helping her thrive.”

It often weighs on Kate’s mind, the number of children who do not have a parent, family member or caregiver to raise them.

Someone who can give them the chance to be in a safe, loving, and caring home so they can grow up to be who they want to be.

Kate says if you’re considering fostering, talk to family and friends and make sure you have a good support network.

“You need people around you who will support you through difficult times and give you practical and emotional support. So IIf you love kids and want to help, go ahead.!” she says.

Currently there are 54 children in Illawarra/Shoalhaven and 66 children in Macarthur/Southern Highlands who are in urgent need of foster care or respite care.

Manager – Carer Recruitment & Support Lisa Condon said: “Children in care are looking for people like you to provide them with love, care and a sense of belonging.”

Call 0418 783 956 to find out how to become a foster parent or email [email protected] – CatholicCare will support you every step of the way.