Photo of foster carer Dalal with Barnardos Australia CEO Deirdre Cheers
WARM-hearted Dalal burst into tears when she was told that more than 45,000 children in Australia were unable to safely live with their families and that Barnardos desperately needed foster carers.
Giving children a safe, stable and nurturing family environment, foster carers look after a child for a few months, years or for the rest of their lives through open adoption.
“When I heard about so many traumatised babies and children, I knew in my heart that I needed to help,” Dalal said.
“The first child I cared for was a baby, so tiny at only two-months-old.
“Her mother had such severe stress she could not take care of her baby.
“I knew it hurt her, as I could see that she loved her baby very much.
“She was so scared her baby would call me ‘mama’ and forget about her, but I reassured her she would always be the child’s mother and I could be ‘grandma’.”
In her care for two years and three months, the baby was not the only one that Dalal turned out to be helping.
“I actually brought her family together,” she said.
“The family distanced themselves because they didn’t know what to do.
“After they saw bub doing well and mum improving, they began supporting her again. It was beautiful to see.”
Dalal says Allah wants us to help others as much as we can and being a foster carer is a wonderful way to do his work.
“If you are thinking of being a foster carer, just try it,” she said. “It will change your life, like it has changed mine.”
As well as getting an allowance to cover the child’s food, milk, nappies, medication or other needs, Barnardos provides wonderful support to carers.
To find out how you could make a difference in a child’s life, call 1800 663 441 or barnardos.org.au
This article first appeared in the Auburn Review here.