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23 September 2020
Choosing to be a carer was an easy decision for the Wimmera’s Kelly Britten.
“I was in foster care with my grandmother in the early 1980s and caring wasn’t out of the norm for me,” she said.
Kelly, who works as a cultural leader at Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative in Horsham, has also spent four years as a carer.
Kelly said the role was important as it helped keep children connected to their Aboriginal culture.
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“As an Aboriginal carer, I do believe strongly that we should try to keep our children on country, try to keep them within community,” she said.
“That’s the most important thing for me, that they have the opportunity to remain in their families or as closely connected as they can.” Kelly is helping to promote a new ‘Share Your Care’ campaign to recruit more foster carers across the Wimmera and south-west Victoria.
The multi-agency campaign highlights that carers can come from many walks of life and be located in cities, towns and on farms across our region.
Kelly said any decision to offer foster care needed to involve the whole family.
“We’ve spoken endlessly about some of the trials that these children have already lived,” she said.
“There’s a lot of empathy and a lot of patience with myself, my partner and my children.”
Kelly said being a carer was more than simply welcoming a child into your own home and your family.
“It’s fine to say that you have a bed for a child, but that child’s not only joining your family, you’re also joining that child’s family and meeting that child’s needs,” she said.
Kelly said there were many rewards from providing a welcoming home, care and support to a child when they needed it most.
“We all would like to think we live in a perfect world and we don’t. These children need homes that are safe and they need to be cared for,” she said.
“It brings me a little peace knowing that I might change even a tiny bit in a child’s life.
“Even just if it’s a short stay, or whether it’s a longer stay, it gives me a little bit of peace that I’ve done my bit.”
People wanting to find out more about foster care can visit www.shareyourcare.net.au.
The entire September 23, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!