12 September 2022

Robyn, Foster Carer with Life Without Barriers, is a pillar of support for Cody, a young person in care.

A young boy wearing a blue shirt is hugging a woman with brown hair wearing a black shirt.

Everyone has their own unique story to tell – today, meet Cody and Robyn.

Robyn’s foster care journey began in 2006. She was inspired by her parents, who also provided care to children in New South Wales with Life Without Barriers. When Robyn moved to Queensland, she decided it was time to follow in their footsteps, and started fostering with Life Without Barriers.

“Robyn is an amazing carer who just takes upon any training I send to her. She's just straight into it,” said Paula Moore, Child and Family Practitioner.

Robyn has provided care to many children over the last 16 years. One of the kids she has looked after is Cody, who came into her care in 2016 at seven years of age.

Cody has been in care since he was a baby. He has had a difficult childhood, and it was identified that he would need some extra support put in place to look after his wellbeing.

Robyn wasted no time in connecting Cody with a psychologist. She also engaged Cody in a tennis program, which he showed a real talent for. As tennis was something that Cody had a natural talent for and brought him out of his shell, Robyn paid for a private coach for him to nurture his strengths. This gave Cody a sense of success and confidence and he started playing in tennis fixtures and going to tennis camp.

“Joining tennis has been such a good outlet for Cody. It has been a really positive experience and a great source of social connection,” said Paula.

Cody also has the support of a youth mentor, Brent, from Connect Kids. Brent works with a small group of kids, providing mentoring, guidance, and an opportunity for them to have positive social interactions.

“This has allowed Cody to find safety in another adult and has also provided another great male influence in his life,” said Paula.

Knowing how important it is for children to have a connection to their family, Robyn has also ensured that Cody has maintained a relationship with his mother.

“Robyn has done an amazing job connecting the children in her care to their families. She goes above and beyond with their parents, grandparents, and siblings to make sure that they remain in touch,” shared Paula.

In 2021, Cody was enrolled into high school. Unfortunately, mainstream education wasn’t the right fit and exacerbated some of the difficulties he was experiencing.

Midway through 2021, Cody was enrolled into a school that provides alternative educational and vocational pathways, supporting students to experience positive educational outcomes.

To support Cody as he transitioned into the new school, he attended on a reduced timetable of three days a week and learned in a classroom with only a small group of other students.

Over the last year, Cody has made some big achievements. He is now attending school five days a week and has joined a larger class of students. Cody has shown a lot of progress in developing positive relationships with his peers and his teachers.

"The Principal commented that Cody is their 'success story'."

"He has had such a phenomenal shift after being supported in a trauma-informed environment," said Paula.

"He has made huge progress in all areas, and it’s fantastic to see the positive relationships he is building at school.”

Cody has also gotten involved in a number of extracurricular activities at the school.

“Cody has been joining some of the offsite sports activities with a range of other peers, and he is coping with this absolutely brilliantly. He started playing the guitar at school as well and is already showing another natural talent!” said Paula.

With support from Foster Care mum, Robyn, Cody’s school, and the other supports he has in place, Cody is really beginning to thrive.

“With the right mix of therapeutic and trauma-informed support around him, Cody is truly flourishing,” said Paula.

A person's story is precious. We take storytelling seriously. Sometimes people are able to tell their own story and we love that. We always make sure they give us their ok and we will always honour the trust placed in us to bring their story forward.

*Names have been changed to protect the children in this story.

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