Shauna is a wise and understanding carer who loves the connections she makes with families. She is the guardian of a two-and-a-half year old boy and has experience with short-term, part-time and emergency care.
“I am floored every time (I care for a child) by the amount of love I receive, whether from the littlies themselves or from the birth family or agency people. I am always humbled by what I receive in return. I think giving love to the whole family is better for the children I care for. Caring feels normal to me. Mob in and out my door, it is the most rewarding thing to do. “
Her young boy came into her care when he was three months old. “He was originally a short term placement but his family chose for him to stay with me. They thought it was best. It has been awesome, the whole experience. I have a wonderful connection with his birth family, his Nan and I talk daily and I chat to his birth mum a couple of times per month as well. I put a lot of effort in to create such a good connection. I believe you foster not just for the child but for the family. It’s case by case but that’s what I have with my son. It can be the whole package.”
Of her experience with emergency care Shauna spoke of a ten-year-old girl who spent one night at her house, “I took out a crocheted blanket from the cupboard and just wrapped her in it. She ended up taking it with her the next day. I had to go easy with her and imagine what she’s been through. Don’t stress if they don’t eat what you’ve prepared. A plate of organic veggies isn’t going to fix everything. Just because your house is safe and warm and clean, doesn’t mean it is their normal. They don’t know how to navigate what they are experiencing. Just give them whatever they need. Patience, empathy and comfort.”
“Since My Forever Family NSW came about I feel like there is more support for carers. It gives carers more confidence to ask for help, and to receive it. And it gives you confidence to voice your opinion, because they listen to what you have to say. When I started caring I didn’t know any other carers and now we have coffee catchups every month. The courses they do are fantastic and give you an opportunity online and in person to learn more – which gives us better skills for the kids we care for.”