Foster carers are desperately needed in Dubbo.
It’s currently Foster Carers’ Week. The annual event both celebrates and acknowledges the work of foster carers in NSW, while trying to attract more people to become carers.
Uniting has 62 children from Dubbo in its foster program. In NSW there are almost 20,000 children and young people who are unable to live safely at home.
Two years ago Sepp and Sandra Krimmer became foster parents.
“It’s rewarding seeing a child’s life change and knowing you’re the reason why,” Mr Krimmer said.
As well as a long-term foster child, the couple also look after children in need of respite for weeks or weekends.
It’s rewarding seeing a child’s life change and knowing you’re the reason why.Sepp Krimmer
“When our foster son came to us as a frightened ten-year-old his school explained to us that they felt he was struggling. Now, two years on, he is happy and thriving,” Mr Krimmer said.
“He’s discovered his love of football and running and he’s even been voted class captain. It’s amazing.”
Mr Krimmer said it was a big decision for anyone to make the leap into foster care. Before signing up the couple were concerned about the behaviour of any child they fostered, knowing many of them came from a traumatic background.
However, the couple said they had not looked back.
Mr Krimmer has left his job to become a full-time, stay-at-home father.
“It’s been the best thing for our bonding. He is now confident, settled and even bought me a ‘Greatest Father’ mug for Father’s Day. That kind of gratitude makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
Foster carers need to be over 18-years-old and an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Anyone from an older person, to a same sex-couple are able to apply to become a foster carer.
Carers also need to be in good health to keep up with the children both physically and mentally.
Carers can work full-time, part-time or not at all, as long as they’re able to meet the need of the child.
Uniting said many people worry they won’t be able to offer everything a child needs, or they won’t be able to ‘fix’ the child. However, the organisation said the role of a foster carer is simply to provide a stable home, a routine and love.
As well as undergoing training, a 24-hour helpline is available.
To speak to Uniting about becoming a foster career call 1800 864 846 or visit uniting.org/services/foster-care.