Liz Lindner, a Shepparton local said she has been a foster carer for over eight years.
Image: Christina, Case Manager, and Liz, foster carer, stand against a white wall and smile at the camera.
Life Without Barriers launched its foster care services in the Goulburn and Ovens Murray areas in May 2023 to assist the growing need for foster carers in the region.
We recently sat down with Liz Lindner, one of Life Without Barriers' wonderful foster carers in Shepparton to talk about her carer journey. Liz shares with us advice on providing a safe home for children in her local community as a foster carer.
“I wanted to fill my house with love and laughter, and I wanted to give something back to the community, so that’s why I first got into foster care,” Ms Lindner said.
“When I think about my favourite moments over the last eight years, I think about seeing the faces of the children I have cared for and the joy in them. These kids have had a tough start, so moments, where they are just being children - laughing and playing and just being kids, are the best.
“To be a carer you must have an open mind and welcome these children into your home and life. I don’t think it is something you can prepare for, and I see a lot of people waiting to start the process until they are ‘ready’.
"If you are born with care in your heart, just jump in and give it a go."
“Being a foster carer is incredibly rewarding - it fulfils me and hopefully I can fulfil their life. I’ve also found it to be a really unique way to connect with people in my community through meeting new people and families who are also fostering." Ms Lindner shared.
Life Without Barriers recognised the urgent need for foster care services in the local community and responded by expanding services and supports for locals to learn more about becoming a carer.
Liz said her advice for anyone who is thinking about becoming a carer is to “Relax and accept these kids for who they are. Treat them like they are your kids and teach them and guide them as you do your children,” Ms Lindner said.
Christina Scott, Case Manager for the Goulburn and Ovens Murray regions for Life Without Barriers thanked the region's local foster carers for the impact they have during Foster Care Week 2023.
“Foster Carer Week is about supporting and acknowledging all the hard work and dedication our carers put in to help the children,” Ms Scott said.
“We are honoured to provide support to our carers, to be able to care for children until it is safe for them to return home.
“Wanting to be a foster carer is a 'heart decision', committing to being a foster carer is a ‘head decision’. Caring for a child is 'both'.”
Many children and families face the trauma of separation, which is why foster and kinship carers in this region are so critical. Life Without Barriers foster care program offers unique one-to-one support for people on their care journey.
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