ROLEYSTONE resident Claire Floyd’s life changed forever when she and her partner stepped into the world of foster caring.
After Ms Floyd and her husband Steve wanted to start a family of their own and were not able to have their own children, they found out about fostering service Key Assets.
The pair were some of the first carers to go through Key Assets, which is celebrating 10 years in WA in 2017.
“I love seeing the children change and become confident, attached and happy. Doing things they thought they’d never be able to do; some kids come in here not being able to talk and then they can talk, and fulfil their potential. They’re like little sponges,” Ms Floyd said.
She is currently looking after three young children, and previously cared for a teenager for five years.
“It takes a while to build that safety and trust up, but once you’ve got that… these kids now, you’d think they’re family,” she said.
“It’s little things. Like when you see them smiling or laughing for the first time they’ve moved in with you. It’s being able to see them be happy, and it’s given them a place where they’re able to feel safe.”
Ms Floyd encouraged anyone thinking about fostering to look in to it.
“Go for it. It has to fit with your family and it has to be the right time for you, but the rewards you get from it far outweigh any difficulties or hard times,” she said.
“It makes a difference to your life too, it’s not just their lives you’re changing.”
Key Assets state director Judith Wilkinson said the rise in children and young people needing care means foster carers are needed now more than ever.
“There are more than 4500 children in WA that need care and protection, and this number is increasing each year,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“We are in desperate need of foster carers. We also need Ability Carers who provide a home and support to children and young adults with a disability.”
To find out more about Key Assets, visit www.keyassets.com.au or call them on 1800 WE CARE (1800 93 2273).