Meet Kaz and Jo
Kaz and Jo have a home filled with so much authentic love, warmth, and genuine laughter. They are both short and long-term foster carers with Life Without Barriers, and they currently care for a young boy who is an absolute joy.
With Kaz and Jo’s children,18-year-old Jackson and 21-year-old daughter Brittany, they are a supportive and loving family unit. Becoming foster carers has brought their already close family even closer.
We sat down with Kaz and Jo to learn more about their foster care journey.
What first drew you to foster care?
“I have been a carer all my life and career. Kaz and I agreed it was time with both of our kids all grown up to open our home up to children in need. To protect and love them for however long they stay with us," said Jo.
"We wanted to give back to the community in some way. Having two grown-up children of our own, we felt we had a home we could open to others,” said Kaz.
“We came across Life Without Barriers at Mardi Gras Fair Day and straight away felt a connection to the agency."
Image: Same-sex female foster carer couple in their forties in the dining room smiling
What has your foster care experience been like as a same-sex couple?
"We haven’t faced any prejudice from agencies, but certainly plenty from members of the public. For some, it's difficult to get past the short hair, tattoos and being a female couple, to see that we are just the same as them and that our motive is to care for the kids. Kids never care though,” said Kaz.
“As long as we could kick the ball around or build sandcastles at the beach, that child was happy."
"If you have love in your heart, a safe, warm environment and can stand above the noise of the naysayers, just have a go,” Jo said.
“It's about opening your heart and being the constant for a child in their journey while they grow into wonderful members of society."
What highlights and challenges have you experienced during your foster care journey?
Kaz and Jo are realistic when it comes to opening their home as foster carers and are open about both the joys and challenges it brings.
"We have been lucky enough to have little babies in our care, and watching them smile for the first time, eat solid foods, and reach their milestones has certainly shown us we have made the right decision,” says Jo.
“With kids who come into care who are shy and unsure, to see them respond to you reading a book or playing games with them is incredibly rewarding and brings great joy to our little family."
"The most challenging situations have been settling into a routine. Each child has different needs. Depending on the age of the child - it can be easier with babies, but for toddlers and little kids, it can prove to be a work in progress. We are up for it though!" says Kaz.
What advice do you have for people considering becoming foster carers?
When asked what advice they would give people looking to be foster carers, the message was genuine, simple and united.
"Do it! Research agencies and what they offer to their carers. Don't do foster care just for yourself, do it for the kids. Take one day at a time and know your own boundaries and the boundaries of the child,” said Kaz.
“If you have love in your heart and a spare room in your home, pick up the phone today and call Life Without Barriers."
"When we were looking for a fostering agency, we looked for support, communication and commitment to be there for us while we are there for those who need our care,” Jo said.
“Life Without Barriers has been amazing. We feel part of a big family."
Got more questions?
Our friendly and helpful fostering specialists are ready to answer your questions. Whether you're looking to start the process, get some answers or want more information, our team is waiting for you to connect.