Advertising feature: National Families Week

CARE: Becoming a foster parent is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure and gives children a chance to reap the benefit of a secure and loving family.
CARE: Becoming a foster parent is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure and gives children a chance to reap the benefit of a secure and loving family.

Any woman who has been on the fertility roller coaster will know all too well the crushing disappointment of month after month of failed pregnancy attempts.

Partners too feel the grief of every dashed hope. With improved outcomes of IVF treatments, more and more women are resorting to science to increase their chance of forming a family.

But IVF and other fertility treatments are not the only way to make a family.

After Sally was diagnosed with cancer just over five years ago, becoming foster carers was a path she and her partner, Lyndal, had not expected to take.

Challenging, rewarding and at times heart breaking their life is now never dull.

Following her recovery from a hysterectomy, the couple decided to become foster carers.

Over the past five years, they have had several short-term placements and now have three boys in their care.

Two of the boys are likely to stay with Lyndal and Sally; Jason, aged three and a half, will probably return to his family of origin.

Restoration care refers to when a child or young person is placed short-term with a foster family (up to two years).

The child or young person may then move to a permanent foster care arrangement, be adopted or be restored to their original family.

Provided it is safe and in the child’s best interests, restoring a child to their family of origin is the preferred option.

For Sally and Lyndal, the prospect of having to relinquish any of the children in their care is tough.

“When you’ve been a child’s carer – even though you know deep down that it could be temporary – you’re family and you become so attached.”

Sally and Lyndal are the mums who pick the kids up from school, the mums the boys go to when they’re scared and the mums who play endless games of Batman.

They are the mums who make sure the boys in their care grow to be strong and healthy.

To their local community, Lyndal and Sally are heroes.

When it comes to the time to say goodbye, these two women can feel a great sense of achievement that they have nurtured these young lives at a time of extreme crisis.

Despite the uncertainties and heartache of letting go, Sally and Lyndal agree wholeheartedly that it’s the most amazing feeling to parent these children, even if only for a short time in their lives.

Are you interested in helping a child in need?

Contact Challenge Community Services on 1800 084 954 for an obligation free chat about becoming a foster carer. 

Or email fostercare@challengecommunity.org.au.