Victoria recalls always having a ‘full life’ – a career in engineering, combined with caring for her ageing parents and helping care for her nieces and nephews.
However a series of newspaper articles highlighted to her the drastic shortage of foster homes in NSW and Victoria, who has a multi-cultural background with an Egyptian father and Lebanese mother, was motivated to look into becoming a foster carer herself.
“I was alarmed by the lack of homes for children in need and something just made me want to help. I changed my job from working 18 hours a day to 9am-5pm and started looking into it (becoming a carer),’’ Victoria says.
Since registering in September 2018, Victoria has provided short term respite care for 10 different sets of foster children.
“I look after kids every weekend, I generally have two at a time but it can be up to three, and it’s usually for the weekend but can be up to a week,’’ she says.
Victoria is providing respite for carers who need a break and says some of the most rewarding moments are when children return and remember things she has taught them.
“Like eat with your mouth closed, they’ll show me that they remember, or tell me how they breathed for 10 seconds before responding to something they didn’t like,’’ she says.
“They are just little things, but when they come back to me and remember, they are the moments I love.’’
Victoria couldn’t recommend offering respite care enough.
“I can’t recommend it enough. There is flexibility in the hours and it can be tailored to fit in with your existing commitments.
“Children need as much love and support as possible and I know in a small way I can help be part of that for children who are in the out of home care system.”