It’s National Foster Care Week, and time to hear the story of a foster mum.
Mary Dickens and her husband Al are the founders of Fostering Hope Tasmania, an organization raising awareness about foster care among Christians. They are foster parents to two young boys.
Mary’s mother-in-law had been a child in foster care, and it changed her life. Mary and Al decided when they got married that they wanted to have that same impact on the lives of children in need in their community.
In this episode I chat with Mary about what it’s like being a foster mum, and the joy that bringing extra children into their family has brought them all.
Show Notes – Being a Foster Mum
- Department policy is to always ensure that the foster child is younger than the youngest child in the family.
- The process from first phone call through to placement is 6-9 months, like a pregnancy.
- During that time families receive training, and help in preparing not only the family but their community
- Often the “can you take a child?” phone call comes late on a Friday afternoon, and the need is urgent, with children needing placement that weekend.
- Mary and Al had their first foster son since birth, after midwives placed him on an “unborn baby alert”. They now foster his younger brother also.
- The foster children still see the parents regularly. The focus of fostering in Australia is to work with the birth parents to reunify the child.
- Mary and Al work hard to honour the boys’ birth parents, and encourage acceptance of them as part of their journey. “They have two mums, and two dads”.
- The trickiest part of fostering is that these children most need love and a secure attachment, and having to give all this knowing they might still have to be returned. However, providing that love and secure attachments is what helps those children attach to other people in the future.
- The community has seen their boys love and accept their foster brothers. It’s simple to them—if a child needs a home why wouldn’t they come and love with us?
- As foster parents you’ve got the potential to change the trajectory of a child’s life, for them and for future generations.
The Treasuring Mothers podcast is made possible with the generous assistance of the Community Broadcasting Foundation.
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