Children and young people who require foster care tend to come from complicated family situations. They are likely to have faced difficulties in their lives and some may have experienced neglect or abuse.

Common issues in their families can be drug and alcohol misuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Here are some real stories of children who have come into care at Barnardos Australia to help you understand the difficulties these children face and the importance that foster care plays in their lives.

Lily’s story

Lily Foster Care

When Lilly was eight months old her mum Rachel left an abusive relationship. With nowhere to go and pregnant with her second child, Rachel came to Barnardos for assistance.

Rachel and Lilly lived in a Barnardos temporary accommodation unit, safe from Lilly’s abusive Dad. Unfortunately soon after Rachel became ill, and needed to go into hospital until she gave birth to Lilly’s brother Matty.

Lilly stayed with a Barnardos crisis carer for four weeks until her mum got on her feet again and now Lilly, Rachel and Matty are in their own safe, permanent home.

Lucy’s story

Lucy Foster Care

Lucy suffered from sexual abuse and neglect at home and was removed when she was 12 years old. She had poor living skills, suffered from bed-wetting and needed a lot of help doing daily tasks.

The Barnardos Adolescent Services program found Lucy a single female foster carer who shared the same cultural background. She was excited and happy to be living with someone who cooked traditional foods and spoke her native language. She previously struggled with schoolwork and social skills, but slowly started to make friends and joined the netball team and choir. Lucy has built up a close relationship with her carer and is learning to trust people again. This has taken her a long time due to the abuse, trauma and neglect she experienced. Lucy’s foster carer is teaching her skills with the aim that she can live independently when she turns 18.

At Barnardos we believe that all children deserve a safe home, and by providing one we can help them build their self esteem and confidence. Lots of children require fostering, could you foster a child and help them achieve their potential?

Count yourself in and start the journey to become a foster carer today. Take our quiz now.

If you would like to speak to someone about becoming a foster carer, please call 1800 663 441 or fill out our online enquiry form.

(* Models used and names changed to protect privacy.)