Georgie and Mitch
"There are good days and hard days, and being flexible is a huge part of that."
Meet Georgie and Mitch
Georgie and Mitch are the dynamic duo from Launceston. They are about to get married, but decided they wanted to foster as well! They are the awesome foster carers of a teenager who is a big part of their world. They are new to foster caring having started with Life Without Barriers in early 2017.
Once you know the story of Georgie and Mitch it all becomes clear, "We both work with youth in the education sector and felt we had something more to offer to a young person in the community. We decided we would like to open our home, so we started the process with Life Without Barriers and as each new step was completed we kept stepping until we started as foster carers earlier this year."
When asked about the foundation of their relationship with their foster child they both agree that it is lot of respect and good humour, "We try to laugh through the good and hard times. But behind those jokes and light hearted approach, there is a lot of care. For us it was also helpful to establish some family routines - heading to the dog park together with Luna and Walter (our dogs), trips away, helping our foster son with homework, going out to dinner, watching him play football, going bowling or to laser tag or simply watching our favourite TV shows together. If we make connections and show interest, we form a bond."
Mitch also said that as foster carers it is important to remain agile and responsive, "There are good days and hard days, and being flexible is a huge part of that. Teenagers can be very spontaneous and not always the best communicators or organisers so sometimes we have to take a breath, support each other and try not to sweat the small stuff. Adapting and thinking of the bigger picture always helps progress if we ever take a step back. It's also important that the carers are a team."
Georgie believes, "It has been important to establish the respect and rapport, but equally know when to let things go or move forwards if feeling are ever hurt."
You can see in their eyes they are fun and joyous carers who are proud and happy, "When our awesome 17-year-old completed his profile for football (that was posted online) his favourite food and TV shows listed were things we had introduced him to and for some reason that made us smile. We have also loved watching him start to question the world around him more after introducing him to documentaries and challenging concepts," says Mitch.
"But some of the nicest moments are simple. Last week it was my brothers' birthday and he and all the other nieces and nephews were squeezed on the little kids table (he was huge) all laughing and just playing UNO," beams Georgie.
When asked about giving tips and the process of becoming a foster carer Georgie continues, "There are small steps along the way that help you recognise whether you want to continue. It is a very healthy and revealing process for anyone to go through. Just enquire and start the process and who knows where you'll end up – we are so glad we said YES!"
Andrea and Colin
Long term care for kids with complex needs
With three boys having flown the nest, carers Colin and Andrea felt like they still had a lot of love to give. They now care permanently for two primary school age children.
Long-term care for kids of all ages
Barbara is an Aboriginal woman who has a background in disability and mental health nursing. Barbara has been a long-term foster carer for a young person with disability.