Meet Diana - an interview with a foster carer
Diana has been a caregiver with her husband Bob for over three years in one of our specialised foster care programs. Here she shares some of her learnings and perspectives.
What made you decide to become a caregiver?
It’s my calling. Education should start at home from the beginning. If children have got that foundation they’ve got a better future. For me this means doing that for those who have been traumatized. That’s one of the reasons I decided to become a caregiver.
On a typical day, what sort of activities do you do with the child in your care?
On school days, I’ll get up in the morning with my young person and watch or help her get her lunch together. I feel that is so important that she makes the choices of what she takes for lunch. I plan projects for us to do too. At the moment we are doing a bit of a garden project – we’re building a fairy garden with pots. I try to create projects and I’m now gathering arty stuff for the next project. We’re trying to do a little something like a scrap book.
What keeps you going when the things with the young person get really tough?
Knowing that it’s going to get better. There’s no other way. I keep saying, it’s tough now, but it will get better. And it does. If you manage it correctly it will get better.
What is the best thing about becoming a caregiver?
Seeing the changes. Seeing the young person coming in all crumpled, and blossom into a real person. That’s amazing. You cannot put words to that. Seeing the confidence being built up and the empathy.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a caregiver?
To be successful you need to have the passion and the insight into how to calm or help a child to give them a better future. Make sure that is what you really want to do and that you can provide love and empathy. It’s not just providing a roof, a bed and food. In terms of Youth Horizons, one thing I must say is you can be assured that you won’t be let down. If there are problems they’re going to help you.