Meet Kerrie and Andrew
We sat down with Kerrie and Andrew and asked them what drove them to foster children in Hobart.
Family life drives Kerrie and Andrew. They have seven biological children between them and eighteen grandchildren!
They have been foster carers for Life Without Barriers since 2015, and have fostered five children in that time. They are currently the carers of a school-aged girl and a toddler.
Why did you decide to become foster carers?
"We found ourselves in a situation where three children in our family were without stable parenting or accommodation for a short time, so we decided to take the reins and open up our heart and home to provide some short-term consistency and stability until everyone got back on their feet." Shared Andrew.
From there, their love of providing a safe home for kids and teens in need only grew!
"We saw the advertisement in the Mercury newspaper for foster carers with Life Without Barriers and thought... we can do this."
What was the first step to becoming a carer?
"Andrew said 'call them' so I did. We then went through the process under the guidance of Life Without Barriers, and we never thought about backing out." Said Kerrie.
"Our advice is to just make the call, start the process and see where it takes you."
Kerrie and Andrew believe that communication, love and providing assurance to the foster children in their care, that they are always safe with them, are the cornerstones of being wonderful foster carers.
What are the challenges of being foster carers?
These Tassie foster parents said they have more joys than challenges, but see it as important to "be responsive to each child's fears and their individual needs."
"You can't let your own needs go by the wayside. Everyone needs to respect and listen to each other's feelings openly." Said Andrew.
"Even if it takes some time to understand those feelings, it is really important to just listen."
What is the best part of being a foster parent?
"The change since Marie* came to us is amazing! Her achievements and a constant stream of awards at school, riding a bike, reading and writing, and making friends." Foster mum Kerrie shared.
"When she first came to us, she was very closed and didn't accept affection. She is now a very happy, open and affectionate girl."
Foster dad Andrew added. "Seeing the changes and improvements in the children that come into our care gives us a sense of achievement. Knowing that we have made a difference in their lives."
Anything else you would like to add?
"It doesn't get much better than that!"
*Names have been changed to protect the children in care.
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.