Kerrie-Anne and Patrick’s Story

Posted on 31 October 2022
Category Carer stories

Kerrie-Anne was an early childhood educator for 25 years before one little boy changed the trajectory of her and her husband Patrick’s life. 

“My husband and I sort of did our life in reverse. We spent 15 years travelling the world together. Then we decided to look into starting a family”, says early childhood teacher Kerrie-Anne. 
After years of exploring the world together Kerrie-Anne and her husband Patrick contemplated having a child via IVF. “We thought…let’s give children that are already here a life”. 

Not long after the conversation with Patrick, an ongoing connection Kerrie-Anne had with a four-year-old boy at her place of work changed their lives as they knew it.   

“I’ve worked in early childhood for 25 years and this one particular little boy came into our preschool and we developed a special rapport. He was in a situation where he needed a new carer and my husband stepped forward and contacted the agency to see if we could become his carers.” 

Ben* was four when he came into our Kerrie-Anne’s care and recently celebrated his tenth birthday in their home.  

“The little fella came into our lives; he chose us to be his parents basically.” 

Shortly after opening their home and family up to Ben, Kerrie-Anne welcomed Ben’s little sister, followed by his big sister and an older brother. But this growing brood didn’t stop Kerrie-Anne and her husband from bringing in another young person to their family. 

“We became a family of seven kind of overnight. The kids age from five to thirteen.” 

The task of caring for five children at different developmental stages can be challenging for even the most experienced educators, but Kerrie-Anne and Patrick had a routine in place for each of their kids. The couple take a holistic approach and work on improving the kids’ gut health through providing nourishing meals for the children, and relish in the positive changes they witness.  

“It’s extremely rewarding. It’s just amazing to see these little guys come into your home. From where they’ve come from to what they are today and see how they’ve flourished. It’s just incredible. They’re so resilient. Children are just amazing.” 

Kerrie-Anne and Patrick have been recognised for their services in caring for siblings with a Carer Recognition Award and their dedication to caring for children doesn’t stop there. They also provide part-time care to other siblings on a regular basis, and actively encourage others to do the same. 

“It brings us so much joy. The kids just give, they’re so loving. I’m constantly telling people I know to become a carer for kids. I always say if you watch a football game, look at the crowd, there’s that many children looking for homes. So get out there and do it!” 

Kerrie-Anne insists that anyone with room in their home and heart for a child, regardless of their personal circumstances, should take the steps to becoming an authorised carer.  

“Start with respite (part-time care), get your foot in the door. I think there’s stigma around if you’re single then you can’t be a carer. Even if you’re got a little bit of time, just do part-time care.”