Being a carer is not about your age, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs – rather, being a carer is measured in how much love, time, energy, compassion and attention you can give a child or young person in your care.
At Life Without Barriers our carers come from all walks of life; we know young, single male carers are under-represented in foster care communities.
David, an IT professional, is a self-described rarity; he’s a young man whose life changed dramatically two years ago when he became a carer for Life Without Barriers to provide long term and respite care.
There were many reasons why becoming a carer made sense to David.
“Having a large extended family, I’ve always been actively involved with my nieces and nephews,” said David. “I became known as the ‘king of kids’.
“After doing research and speaking with friends and family who are carers, I realised there was no feasible reason why I could not become one.”
Since having his application approved, David has had a 12-year-old boy in his care for two years.
While he acknowledges some days are challenging, he says they are also very rewarding .
“In the beginning there were many hurdles we had to overcome together, like the distance between my house and his school and of course managing tough emotions.”
Through patience, determination, a lot of kindness and compassion and seeking support when needed, those issues soon became a thing of the past.
“When times get tough, I try to reflect on the ‘big picture’ and remind myself it is only temporary, and things will settle.
“Having had the full support of Life Without Barriers when I’ve needed them has been really important.”
Coming from a close-knit family, David knows the importance of positive relationships and role models in life, and how they influence positive behaviours in children and young people.
“Respect is a core value in my house, so I ensure I model my own behaviour on it as well in a set of house rules I have, which are:
You’re always safe here
I’ll never give up on you, and
We always must treat each other fairly and with respect.”
In tough times, David looks for the silver lining by reflecting on the good things in life.
“Even though we live in Victoria, COVID-19 has actually made our lives a bit easier because we have everything delivered to our door now , or it’s available online.
“We honestly have the best of both worlds because by being just the two of us we can retreat and relax together. We also have my family (who sees him as one of their own) nearby to lean on.”
In his own words, David has found being a carer is a truly personally fulfilling experience with untold benefits.
“Little things, like seeing children and young people in my care grow and develop positively, is so rewarding.”
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