"Building Strong Healthy Attachments" – Foster & Kinship Care Week - Hope 103.2

“Building Strong Healthy Attachments” – Foster & Kinship Care Week

Kate Alexander and her husband are long-term foster carers and were recipients of the My Forever Family NSW Carer Recognition Award for 2022.

By Georgia FreeWednesday 14 Sep 2022Hope DriveLifeReading Time: 3 minutes

This week is Foster and Kinship Care Week, which is the perfect time to shine a light on the incredible need for foster carers in NSW.

Kate Alexander and her husband are long-term foster carers to a sibling group of three and were recipients of the My Forever Family NSW Carer Recognition Award for 2022.

Trying for a family

Kate and her husband spent 10 years trying to have a biological family of their own, with great difficulty.

“I really wanted to have a family for many years, but it felt like God was closing that door for us,” Kate told Hope Drive.

Although foster care was not on Kate’s radar, she began to seriously consider the option for the first time – and, with the help of God, that became a reality.

“When God closes one door, he opens another one.

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“He gave us a new dream – to foster, with a view to adopt,” Kate said.

Kate and her husband became licensed foster carers in December 2018 – and received their first placement after just 10 days.

“It felt like a clear sign that this was the way that we were meant to go,” Kate said.

A growing family

Since then, Kate’s family has more than doubled in size. Their first foster child is still living with them, and, since then, the child’s two biological siblings have also been entrusted into Kate and her husband’s care.

They have long term foster orders for the sibling group, meaning that they will remain with them until they are at least 18. However, Kate parents with an open heart and mind – knowing that permanence is never completely guaranteed.

“We parent knowing that we are not the only parents in their lives.

“They have a beautiful biological family, that can’t care for them, but are a hugely important part of their lives.

“We try to realise that we are just part of their story,” Kate said.

The joys of foster care

In the four years that Kate and her husband have been foster carers, they have seen the effect that a stable, secure home has on their children.

“We love seeing the way that the kids are thriving.

“We are aware of the trauma that kids go through so to see them building strong healthy attachments…is such a joy.

“We are so thrilled to be a little part of that,” Kate siad.

Growing need for carers

There is a growing need for foster carers in NSW and, despite common misconceptions, you don’t need to be a ‘special’ type of person to be foster carer. Kate believes the requirements are simple.

“I believe that anyone that has a beating heart, and a spare bed, can be a foster parent.”

Furthermore, you don’t need to be married, own your own house or even accept long term foster care placements.

“If you can’t devote the next 18 years of your life to it, there are emergency placements, respite care and short term fostering placements,” Kate said.

“If you’ve got any capacity to look after a child in any way, shape or form, you can absolutely foster.

“Kids at their core just need love, security and and a place to call home.”

Listen to Kate’s full interview on Hope Drive in the player above.

To find out more about foster or kinship care, visit the My Forever Family website.