Emma and her husband have been carers for 7 years and have inspired a new generation of carers in their family.
When Emma’s sons were still young children, she and her husband decided to become foster carers. The couple were inspired by Emma’s best friend who cares for many children in out-of-home care. They saw children flourish under her friend’s care and the importance of having community support for children.
Emma and her husband decided it would be an enriching experience for their young family and took the steps to become carers. She says “We thought let’s do it in our prime while our boys are still young. We wanted our children to grow up with the understanding of other kids with different needs.”
Seven years later Emma and her family have welcomed 45 children into their home, with the outlook that if they have capacity, they will open their doors to children of any age, in any type of care.
“When we first started out we were happy to do any type of care short-term, long-term, part-time, emergency. Until you start doing it you really have no idea. It wasn’t until we’d done it for a couple of years that we learned what suited our family best. It’s changed a lot over the years as we’ve become more knowledgeable with experience and our family has grown.”
Seeing a child change through nurture and home-based care has been the most rewarding aspect of becoming a carer for Emma.
“A child might come to us shutdown and scared and to see that child smile and grow in your care is motivating as a carer. What keeps us going is seeing kids in our care safe and happy and thriving.”
Emma’s decision to become a carer has not only been rewarding for her, but children who were previously in her care have reached out to affirm the positive impact being in a safe family home has had on their lives.
“You think once a child has left your care that you might not hear from them again. Three children who were in our care have reached out to say thank you for everything we did. One girl in particular said she had so many positive experiences in our care, and that it kept her on the right track”
Emma and her husband’s decision to become carers has not only had a transformational effect on the children who have come to them via the care system, their choice to open their hearts and home to children in need has resonated intergenerationally. Their eldest son and his partner have moved into their own home and are now looking into becoming carers themselves.