Something over 60s feel passionately about needs your help… 13



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Parenting is something that so many of us do. To some of us it comes as a surprise, to some of us it is a planned thing and something we’ve always wanted, for some of us it isn’t on the agenda, and for others, it is something they haven’t been able to do.

But the sad thing, is that some people for whatever reason, cannot do it, despite having the opportunity to and this leaves so many children around Australia waiting for care in a parentless world. Right now, Victoria has over 6,500 children in need of foster care. This number is growing by 500 per year. But there is a crisis, that doesn’t have anything to do with the number of children needing foster care – it is to do with the dwindling number of foster carers.

While the number of children needing foster care in Victoria is increasing by 500 each year, the number of Victorian foster carers available is decreasing by 200 each year.

Last night, we called out on the Facebook page for personal experiences about foster caring and it turns out that it is something very dear to many hearts.

Brenda Woods said, “I was a foster parent in the early eighties and after looking after many children we took on a young girl of ten years old and she was with us till she was 18.Its a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t have changed for anything. I so enjoyed the children and Sharon is now 46 and we still keep in touch.For anyone thinking of doing this just go for it.” 

Jennifer Lockhart, a Starts at 60 blogger many of us know shares, “Yes I was a foster carer for over 20 years. I started in 1988 and finished up in 2011. I loved that I could make a difference to a childs life. Most of the children I cared for were in their early teens as not many carers want to take on a teenager and many had a disability of some sort.” 

Mavic C Devries said, “I was a foster parent for ten years, so we’re two of my daughters, still have contact.” 

Gwendalyn Freedman Long also had an interesting story, she told us, “Yes, I fostered several children. Each one has their own personality which is interesting. We are still in contact, one married my son.” 

Some over 60s are still doing it today, opening their homes, hearts and lives to children in need. I know a lady who lives near my family and she has been a foster parent to aboriginal children without homes for decades.

But for others, it isn’t a realistic option. And that is ok. But there is something we can all do to help the situation in Victoria – and eventually the rest of the country.

The Foster Care Association of Victoria has launched a campaign calling for people to help them bring this issue to the national forefront. To help create awareness, raise money, support and open homes to the young people in society who need it most. The crowd funding campaign made possible through Pozible has the chance to change so many lives, and you can be apart of it by simply clicking here.

This is something so many of our community are passionate about, and together, we can really make a difference.

Tell us, what has your experience with foster caring or foster carers been? Share your stories in the comments below… 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My niece is a foster carer, she owns a big rambling house in QLD, she has 3 beautiful children of her own and at the moment she has 3 foster children under 5 years old, they are siblings, there mum is very sick and their dad left. They are gorgeous kids, when their mum recovers they will go home and more foster children will take their place. My niece and her husband have very big hearts and give them such a good home while they are there with a lot of love and caring

  2. We were foster cares for a year or two in c 1973. The children were lovely despite their problems. One social worker supported us but as for the rest of the department, once we accepted the children, they couldn’t care less what happened to them (or us). Promised money wasn’t forthcoming and we had to pay for everything despite having four children of our own. In the end I had to ‘put on a turn’ to someone in the department to get the two foster children moved to another family. It was terrible experience because those children probably thought I was blaming them. I tried to tell them otherwise. One thing I remembered about the experience was that we were classified as an ‘orphanage’.

    1 REPLY
    • Like you Mary, we were foster parents in the early 70’s and it was also a negative experience. Suffice to say, we opted out of the system for the sake of our own family. Our foster child was an aboriginal baby and in light of the uprising of our indigenous population, Im glad we resigned from the situation. We would have been classified as having a child of the stolen generation, and although we signed up with good intentions, it would have ended badly for all concerned.

  3. I have been fostering for over 20yrs and still do it , it is wonderful opportunity to help others in the community while also receiving the joy of the children I foster for different lengths of time

  4. I can believe the numbers of people who can foster are dwindling. The cost of living is so high, anyone who is fit enough has to work outside of the home to pay huge mortgage payments or just pay the ever increasing utilities/bills.

  5. Never did it…had enough trouble be mother to my own…not that that would have stopped me…other family to consider in making decisions like that. I take my hat off to the many who have done it…

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