"You are making a new life together, something to be proud of."
If you had an idea in your mind of what qualities a foster carer should embody, Lorraine is it! Caring, generous, a clear sense of what is right and wrong, and open-hearted.
Lorraine's story is personal and heart-breaking, "During my early years I was removed from my family and placed into care. This left me devastated and I missed my brothers, sister and mother very much." Ever since, it has always been in Lorraine's blood to become a carer.
Before coming into foster care, Lorraine was a fulltime carer as a career choice – caring for adult males and females with complex needs. She says, "It has always been a passion of mine to care for people less fortunate than myself."
Lorraine also has 2 biological children of her own as well as 5 grandchildren and one great grandchild. She has been a foster carer with Life Without Barriers since December 2016 and currently has one young teenage boy in her care with an intellectual disability.
As a foster carer, Lorraine believes the most important thing is to put the time into building the new relationship and says, "You need to show your foster children how important they are by providing stability, consistency and love. You are making a new life together, something to be proud of."
Lorraine is 70 years young, and so full of life and energy with an abundance of love to share. She says that she and her foster child share a love of food and are regular restaurant goers who also enjoy spending time with the extended family. She also helps organise a disco once a month that her foster child attends and she proudly shares with us that her young teenager is really into his ten pin bowling and basketball.
When talking about what makes the foster care relationship work Lorraine always comes back to the same message, "Respect and love. You have to respect and love the child as well as yourself. These are also important life skills to teach him for the future."
Lorraine says that the great thrill for her as a foster carer is a sense of overwhelming fulfilment and pride she feels when watching these children overcome life's obstacles and "become happy and positive young people."
Lorraine says that before considering becoming a foster carer you have to remember to "always be there for the children. You have to share and bare the ups and downs and let them know they are safe and you are there to help them to become the best person they can."
Lorraine – we are lucky to have you!!
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.