Sophie is 23 years old and lives in Warragul in the Gippsland region of Victoria.
Last year, Sophie became an accredited Berry Street foster carer.
She was inspired to become a carer because of her parents – they fostered many children over the years, even before she was born.
She has always loved children and used to help her mum look after the younger ones.
“Now is not the right time for me to have my own kids but I’m ready to look after children in need of a loving home,” Sophie said.
She has enjoyed working with the Berry Street team in Morwell. Despite the restrictions due to the pandemic, Sophie completed her foster carer training and met (virtually) with the team many times.
Berry Street works closely with all foster carers, from veteran carers to those who are new to the foster care program, to give them the practical help and professional support they need.
Sophie and her first foster child – an 8-month-old baby – settled into the program well.
“I’ve received good feedback from my caseworker and the child protection worker, as well as from family and friends of the child, on how well the baby is settling in,” Sophie said.
"I really appreciate all the support I've received, from the thorough training to the fast responses from the Berry Street team."
A foster child may be placed with a carer from one night to 6 or more months. Almost all placements are temporary, as the aim is to reunite the child with their parents.
"Don't you get attached?" is a common question asked of foster carers, including Sophie.
"You can't do it if you don't get attached," Sophie said.
“I would prefer to let my heart break a little bit...than let their little hearts be broken because I was too afraid of getting attached.”
Sophie's promise to her foster children is to love them and make them feel special, for however long they are with her.
She encourages people to consider becoming foster carers: “Give foster care a go! It’s so important to support all children, especially those that may not have had the best start in life.”
A little of your time can change an entire life.
Foster caring is one of the most meaningful and vital contributions you can make to our community.
There are many options to caring for a child including providing emergency accommodation, respite care, or regular, ongoing care. If you’d like to know more about becoming a carer please register your interest.
Read more about becoming a foster carer