Keeping kids safe with emergency care

Keeping kids safe with emergency care

East Keilor couple Coral and Franz believe that every child deserves a safe place to live, a warm bed, and a decent feed.

Keeping kids safe with emergency care

Emergency foster care is for children who need an immediate placement because of concerns for their safety. It is short-term care and organised on short notice. It’s distressing to think that siblings in this situation could be separated, but it can be very hard to find carers that can accommodate more than one child.

Coral can’t bear the thought of doors closing in children’s faces, and brothers and sisters living apart. She is committed to providing a safe place for kids, and keeping siblings together in their home, “as long as we have bit of spare space”.

Coral and Franz currently have five children aged from 9 to 16 living in their household. Three are now in their permanent care, and two siblings started emergency care with them.

The couple focus on creating a stable environment where everyone has their own voice. “We play music at dinner and everyone has a turn to choose what we listen to,” Coral says.

As a household with five children with three different sets of parents, flexibility, communication and a lack of judgement are valuable qualities that Coral draws on. She also uses the problem-solving skills she developed in her career as a nurse working with complex respiratory cases.

At the beginning, Coral admits: “I knew nothing about foster care … I was very naïve.” She saw some foster carer recruitment advertising, spoke to a case worker, went to an information session and started from there.

So what motivates a busy woman in a busy household to offer foster care?

“It’s thinking that I’ve made a difference,” Coral says. In at least one instance she believes that one of the kids “would not be alive today” without the care the couple gave.

“I hope that all of them look back and think that it really could have been different without us.”

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