Opening their door to children in need

FROM two-day-old newborns to toddlers, Jason and Rochelle's home has welcomed children from broken families with open arms. The Barden Ridge couple have been foster carers with Barnardos for the past five years.

They have cared for babies with high medical needs and helped work with birth parents toward restoration of the child back into their care.

The baby currently in their care is the couple's 10th placement. Their youngest 'delivery' was a two day-old newborn straight from hospital.

"It's something we love to do, it's part of our family," Jason said. "The longest child we've had in our care is 14 months. Most who come into our care are from drug-addicted backgrounds. Ice is a big epidemic. We get the fallout of that because kids are caught up in the tragedy.

When they leave our care they are healthy, vibrant kids ready to take on the world." The pair also has three biological children, aged 11, 12 and 14.

"Being foster carers teaches our kids about compassion," Jason said. "You never forget how to bring up babies but we just did what we've done for our kids it's natural." Foster Care Week is September 9-15. People interested in becoming a foster carer can phone 1800 663 441.

"There are so many kids out of home care in NSW," Jason said. "If you can find it in your heart to give them a room in your house, all they need is a little love and attention, and they thrive."

(This article first appeared in the St George & Sutherland Shire Leader).