Brendan and Dilinie have been foster carers with VACCA for two years. Living in metropolitan Melbourne, the couple and their three children recently welcomed their first long term foster care placement after providing emergency and respite care.
“Being carers with VACCA fits into our life really well” says Brendan. “One of the most rewarding parts has been watching the relationship develop between our children, and the children we have in our home.”
Keeping the children in their care connected to their culture and community is a key part of the support they provide. “Things like attending community events, [connecting] with groups from the area” says Brendan. "I appreciate VACCA’s regular email communication - newsletters with updates and events and that sort of thing.”
Sometimes it’s the little things that help our foster care families feel supported in the work they do.
“The packages that arrive during Foster Care week can make the difference sometimes. When you just need to dip a chocolate biscuit in a cup of tea, and VACCA has popped it on the doorstep for you,” Brendan says.
When asked what qualities she thinks carers embody, Dilinie says that patience, empathy and understanding are key. “As a carer, I think being really patient and empathetic towards the kids and the families that they're coming from as well as being strong advocates for the kids that come into our care.”
When reflecting on their foster care journey, Brendan says they feel blessed to have the opportunity to care for these children.
“We enjoy having a bit of fun and getting the giggles going because once you can get a kid to laugh, it's a huge way to develop in that relationship” he says. “The joy of having children laughing at your home - you can't put any sort of value, intrinsic value on it, but it's a pretty awesome thing to have.”