By Susan Mickelburgh – Anglicare Senior Carer Practitioner (Moruya/Bega)
Susan has been a social worker for over 40 years and has undertaken a variety of roles in the public and private sectors in several parts of Australian and in Indonesia. She has worked for Anglicare for 18 months and is passionate about seeing families, children and young people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, being given opportunities, care and encouragement to thrive in life.
There’s a perception that teenagers are difficult to look after, but in Anglicare’s experience, with the right support and training, foster carers and young people in their care can thrive, as they share new experiences and skills in preparation for adulthood.
As one of our foster carers in NSW said “We thought about how much of an impact we could make on a child’s life… what we didn’t consider was how much of an impact they would have on ours.”
Anglicare foster carers Elizabeth and James started out as respite carers. They have a growing family with grandchildren of varying ages, but they wanted to share their life experiences to help vulnerable children. Over the last year they have developed a special relationship with one of these young people. Watching him mature and become a confident young man at school and socially is enriching all of their lives.
Teenagers in regional Australia are often placed with foster carers who live far from their families, friends and schools. This disruption frequently also means splitting them up from their siblings. Sometimes they are squeezed into multiple short-term gaps, rather than being able to settle into a home that is there for as long as they need.
Anglicare is looking for households interested in finding out more about foster care in NSW and exploring whether they can provide the stability and security to help teenagers heal from their experiences of trauma.
We are looking for people from all walks of life. You may have practiced some of the skills and abilities of trauma-informed care in your work life, or you may have the confidence to take on challenges outside of your usual comfort zone.
Anglicare understands that ups and downs are a normal part of long-lasting and worthwhile relationships. Our Care Teams are there to provide support, training, therapeutic counselling and case management; contributing to young people and carers resilience and capacity to create happy experiences and work through difficult times.
If you would to find out more about sharing your life with a teenager please call us on the Anglicare Foster Care line on Phone: 02 6245 7100 or click here anglicare.com.au/fostercare.