Victoria Park same-sex couple fostering carer change

Foster carers Milton Goodchild and Choon Tan are looking after two children. Picture: Jon Hewson d473312
Foster carers Milton Goodchild and Choon Tan are looking after two children. Picture: Jon Hewson d473312

MILTON Goodchild and Choon Tan admit to having some fears about becoming foster carers.

The Victoria Park couple, who have been dating for 14 years, fostered two primary school-aged siblings in March after stumbling on an |advertisement on Facebook from children’s services provider Key Assets that said it was looking for same-sex couples to become foster carers.

Mr Tan said he was surprised by the advertisement and thought it was very progressive.

“I assumed that we weren’t |eligible and if it wasn’t for Key Assets campaign then I wouldn’t have ever known,” he said.

“I was worried about how people would respond to us if they saw us on the street, but we spoke to foster carers who have been doing this for 25 to 30 years and they said we had nothing to worry about.

“People do take a double take but on the whole everyone has been awesome and very positive.

“If there were other same-sex couples who were thinking about this then I would tell them not to hesitate.”

The process took about a year from March 2016 and although they were approved in September, they had to wait about six months for the right match.

Mr Tan said there were lots of visits from social workers, who looked at virtually every aspect of their lives.

“We had about 48 hours’ |notice that the kids were coming and we only had a one-and-a-half page report about them,” he said.

“The first two weeks were |incredibly hard, not physically but emotionally. I found myself falling asleep at work. It wasn’t from a lack of sleep but because I was emotionally tired.

“The agency was good and they were available to take calls and answer questions.”

Mr Goodchild said one of the reasons they wanted to become foster parents was to give the children a second chance.

“We have a four-bedroom place which was mostly empty,” he said.

“The children did not know to regulate their emotions or how to reply when they first came in.

“We have got used to the kids, we brought them back into school at a language development school and they will be going back to a mainstream school next year.”

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