St Kilda East local, Steven became a foster carer just over a year ago to help provide better lives for children in need.
“As a single man, I didn’t know I could become a foster carer. I saw a thought-provoking ad on Facebook calling out for people to help children in need and that led to my decision to become a carer.
“I am now a long-term carer for Ben who is 8, and a respite carer for George who is 9,” Steven says.
When asked about what the best part of being a foster carer was, Steven said there were many positive experiences with fostering.
“Seeing Ben and George develop, change and learn to trust and have better expectations of themselves and their future is a great feeling.
“You can see the positive difference you are making in their lives on a daily basis and that is the most rewarding part of fostering.”
Steven says the most difficult part of fostering is the challenging behaviours.
“Arguments have tested me as a foster carer, but patience, empathy and timing is the key to getting over through them together. The rewards far exceed the challenges,” Steven says.
Foster carers receive 24/7 support, on-going training, a dedicated social worker and an allowance. Judah says the support really helps not just the carer, but also the children.
“Key Assets are very supportive and engaging. The training offers great advice and techniques that really help your relationship with your foster children.
“If you are considering becoming a foster carer, make the phone call to start the process because it’s the most rewarding thing you will ever do. You can’t change all children, but you can provide them with an easier life,” Steven says.
There are more than 14,000 children in Victoria that need care and protection. This number has been increasing over the past 10 years, but the number of people willing to become foster carers is at an all-time low.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, visit www.iwanttofoster.com.au or call Key Assets on 1800 WE CARE.