Alice wasn’t sure if she could be a foster carer. She’s single, doesn't own her own home and works full-time.
But fast forward to today and Alice is thriving in her new role, as is the child in her care.
I feel like I had a lot of support from Berry Street in preparing me to become a carer. They were really supportive throughout the whole process.
Creating a culturally safe home
Alice began her foster care journey during a difficult and uncertain time – the first year of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, Alice persevered and became an accredited Berry Street foster carer in December 2020.
In January 2021, Alice welcomed a young Aboriginal boy, Adam*, into her care. Led by Adam’s wishes, Alice dedicated herself to creating a culturally safe home that celebrates his Aboriginality.
Alice has maintained Adam’s relationship and connections with his family and culture, by:
- Displaying Aboriginal artwork, pillows and posters around their home
- Proudly displaying a painting of his family tree above his bed
- Facilitating sibling contact on weekends
- Providing a weekly report to his parents, who greatly appreciate the updates
- Ensuring Adam’s favourite clap sticks and didgeridoo are in his bedroom
Alice has provided Adam with an exceptionally therapeutic, nurturing, and culturally sensitive home. She has gone to great lengths to create a safe and secure environment where he feels he belongs.
'A different kid' at home and in the community
Prior to coming to live with Alice, Adam experienced significant trauma and had moved between multiple foster homes.
In Alice’s care, Adam flourished; he reengaged with his education, made new friends and committed himself to a range of extracurricular activities.
Through both her words and actions, Alice constantly reminds Adam that he is her priority. She ensures he gets to participate in his basketball and swimming lessons on the weekend and regularly spends time with his brothers.
Over time, Alice and Adam’s relationship has blossomed; Adam loves to chat with Alice and enjoys listening to her read to him and having a hug at the end of the day.
Adam has settled with Alice to the point that those around him describe him as 'a different kid’.
Alice provided Adam with the stability and safety he needed. By ensuring her home is a warm, accepting and open space, Adam has had the freedom to explore his identity and express himself.
With round-the-clock support and guidance from Berry Street’s dedicated team, Alice’s confidence as a foster carer grew quickly. She is now providing Adam with the level of therapeutic care he needs to go on and thrive in his life.
[Foster care] has taught me things about myself that I never imagined. Every day is a privilege. I love it.
Become a foster carer and support a local child
Childhood is a journey. Partner with Berry Street to support a child or young person on theirs.
As a Berry Street foster carer, you’ll be a part of a team that is committed to supporting children and young people who cannot live safely at home. By providing a safe and nurturing place to live – you'll be there for them at a crucial moment in their life.
*Name changed and models used in our images to protect the identities of the children and families we work with.