“Kinship care is provided by a person who is considered to be family or a close friend, or is a member of the child or young person’s community,” Kylee adds.
She was originally just a kinship carer and cared for two family members for 10 years, through the experience she decided she wanted to keep offering support to children in need and since then has had 12 children placed with her over the last three and a half years.
How many children can be fostered at one time is based on the size of the place they will call home. At this time Kylee and her
husband Kelvin have three permanent children in their care, which leaves room for just one other child.
As carers they are able to choose the gender and age of the child and request as much background information as possible to be able to make the right decision based on their own family needs.
12 years ago Kylee was asked by child safety to provide a home for a family member. This started out as a short term commitment but has now become a long term placement for three. Living as a foster parent throughout the years it became a lifestyle for Kylee and Kelvin, they decided to go into the general government approved system.
Since then they have taken on numerous children with various backgrounds and
have provided a safe family environment for them.
Foster care is never ‘forever’ and all of the children come and go. It all varies on the situation of the child, and their stay can be even just over night or for a weekend.
You could have a child for respite which is a short period to give other carers a break. You can take on the long term placement which is for a child to stay within that family until they turn 18. It is all dependent on the individual needs of the child.
There are policies to protect the rights of the children to remain in contact with their families through numerous channels e.g. letters, phone calls, and visits. It is always a priority to reunify the children with their families as soon and as safely as possible. In Kylee’s experience over the last three years all of the children in her care have been reunited with they family.
Carers are obliged to continue training to best provide for the children and they are under obligation to follow a statement of standards and the principles of the child protection act.
Kylee and Kelvin are part of a team which consists of carers, department staff, medical staff, educational staff and therapeutical staff that work together to meet the needs and best interests of the child.
Kylee explains her ideology of rearing foster children; “As carers we are in control of the day to day needs of the children and we don’t treat them any differently from our own.”
“they are included in all of our family and social activities, we feel the children need to experience as much happiness and security to ensure that they feel save and valued within their lives.”
It’s important for children to feel stable and safe so they can communicate with their carers and in return the carers can best advocate for their needs.
At every point in a mother’s life she has to say goodbye to her children when they grow up and leave home, but put yourself in Kylee’s shoes, she has had to say…