Every day, foster carers like Kerryn Longmuir and her husband Stephen, are changing children’s lives.
You might have seen Kerryn Longmuir, one of Berry Street’s foster carers, in the media in recent years. Kerryn was featured on the Today Show, in the Herald Sun, ABC News, and interviewed on various radio stations.
Kerryn and Stephen became foster carers 35 years ago after having two children of their own. But they still had lots of love to give.
After Kerryn saw a flyer for Berry Street, their foster care journey began. They started by caring for one child, but this grew over the years to up to seven children at a time. Since then, the Longmuirs have opened their home to over 400 children.
Kerryn always tries to make their home a warm and welcoming place for children, taking an approach of love. Many of the children Kerryn and Stephen care for have experienced trauma from exposure to family violence and neglect.
Children arrive at all times of the day or night and stay for different lengths of time. Some only sleep overnight, while others stay for years. In fact, 3 siblings are in their permanent care. They are now 21, 16 and 14.
While Kerryn doesn’t stay in touch with children she’s cared for who have been reunited with their families, she once ran into a young man who had lived with them 16 years ago.
He recognised Kerryn, then explained that when she taught him to always believe in himself, it changed his life. When times were tough, this message gave him strength.
Having fostered for more than 3 decades, Kerryn says she still has the passion to help more children.
People like Kerryn and Stephen provide family life for a child in their home when the child is unable to live with their family. They make a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable children.
Every child is different. So is every foster carer.
No matter what your background, relationship status or sexual orientation, Berry Street is looking for people just like you who can care for a vulnerable child or young person.
Become a foster carer
Anyone can become a foster carer as long as they are over 21 and can provide a child their own room in a safe and nurturing home environment. Berry Street carers come from a wonderfully diverse range of different backgrounds, cultures and experiences.
We know that becoming a foster carer can be daunting, especially because it’s full of unknowns. There are many different ways you can care for a child – by providing emergency accommodation, respite care for ongoing carers, or regular, ongoing care.