Jenny has been a carer for over 14 years and the many small triumphs have added up to a huge impact on the of children and young people she cares for and her own life. Over the years she has undertaken long-term, short-term, emergency and part-time care for children and teens of various ages.
Currently, she cares for six long-term children and continues to have others come into her care part-time.
Jenny says, “Caring for children and young people is a crazy wonderful ride that comes with unique ups and downs but all the ups no matter how small outweigh the downs.”
Reflecting on the start of her path as a carer, Jenny highlights the quick shift from trepidation to hopefulness for both her and the children in her care. She recalls, “The beginning of welcoming a child into your home who needs support and help can be challenging and daunting for them. But being in a safe home quickly becomes the foundation for the beginning of them feeling hopeful for their future.”
“Some of the little ones that have come into our home have such sad and scared looks on their faces and it breaks my heart every time but I know that with the consistent, stable support a carer provides I’ll soon be hearing them giggle. Witnessing them go from not saying a word to not being able to stop talking and laughing - it’s the most wonderful thing to experience”.
For Jenny the big milestone moments remind her that her support can make a long lasting difference in a child’s life. She relishes seeing the older children in her care graduate from school. But it’s also the tiny gestures that also add up and drive Jenny to continue caring for children in out-of-home care. A simple handwritten card from the children in her care speaks volumes to Jenny about the impact she’s having on shaping a positive future for a young life.
“The rewards we get from all of this is hard to put into words. I still break into tears when I read the handmade written Mother’s day and Father’s day cards, thanking us for the home and support we have given them. It really helps you realise what a lasting impact kindness and care can have on a child’s future and reaffirms the decisions you’ve made for your own life.”