Foster Carer Story – Kinship Care – Susan’s Story

Susan has been a carer for four and a half years and joined Key Assets as a Kinship Carer when her great grandson was placed into care.

“When my great grandson was placed into care, I decided that I needed to step-up and take care of him.

“There have been highs and lows. I have endured pressure from biological parents wanting contact, refusing to leave the house when asked to, as well as threats of violence. At the same time, I have watched a little boy go from day care to starting school, even taking up the craft of karate and grading to be a blue belt. I watch him build his confidence each day and it’s a joy to be part of this amazing little boy’s life.

“I cannot praise Key Assets enough. The people who work at this agency are very supportive. There’s always someone to talk to with around-the-clock phone assistance. They are 100 per cent committed to the children and their care as well as the carers’ needs.

“There are a range of courses available to carers as well as on-going training which I believe is paramount.

“Key Assets liaise regularly not only with myself, but also the school and other professionals in the child’s life.

“The best part of being a carer is watching the children learn to trust and love again—to watch them grow and thrive in a safe and loving environment. Most of all, it’s to see their smiles and achievements no matter how big or small.

“The most challenging part is dealing with behaviour issues of complex trauma. In our case, ADHD and violent episodes can be the most challenging to deal with and can make you feel inadequate at times, or frustrated.

“The coping skills learned from Key Assets are very important to me and they play a key role in keeping the child and myself safe during a meltdown, which can be exhausting for both the child and the carer. It is all worth it though in the end when you see them relaxed, happy and most importantly, safe.

“My advice to anyone interested in fostering would be to make sure your agency is 100 per cent committed to the children and the carer, like Key Assets is—this is paramount.

“It can be a tough gig at times dealing with complex issues, but make sure you take advantage of the courses available to you as they are invaluable. Be prepared for rejection and a whole myriad of your own emotions. But after saying all of this, it is rewarding to be able to give a child who needs to feel safe and loved, a place to grow and shine with people who will love and care for them unconditionally and maybe one day help them to reunite with their own family where possible.”