Foster care: starting the conversation

Foster care: starting the conversation

There’s more than one voice to be heard in any family, so what happens when one half of a couple brings up the idea of fostering a child?

Foster Care: Starting the Conversation

In most couples there is a different level of comfort at the start of the foster care conversation. For Lachie Preece, the conversation on fostering began to get more concrete when his wife Kate began seriously researching the process.

“Kate had mentioned fostering to me a few times before we started looking at it eight years ago,” Lachie said. “But I realised she was serious when she started arming herself with all the information on the topic she could get! She was the driving force, doing all the research while I was constantly coming up with new questions.”

The Preeces already had three boys of their own, just one of the factors they considered when they began discussing what they might like their fostering experience to look like.

“Eight years ago when Kate suggested fostering, our boys were much younger, Kate’s Mum had come to live with us and Kate didn’t work for herself,” he said. “At the time, it wasn’t right but I knew Kate was serious about doing this in the future.”

“When we reopened the conversation recently, the whole family were really supportive of whatever we wanted to do and all we had to discuss was what we were prepared for and not prepared for.”

Having three older boys of their own, the couple wanted to give respite care to little girls but felt that babies and teenagers with complex emotional issues weren’t within their capabilities yet.

Bursting with questions, they approached Ana, our recruitment officer, for the initial information session she has with anybody considering fostering.

“I see so many people and couples and they’re all different, but you tend to see one half of a couple is more motivated and the other half has more reservations,” Ana said. “This session isn’t me reassuring or convincing people to foster, it’s about giving them all the information they need to hear. Positive and negative.”

“The most common question I hear is: Can I actually make a difference to a child? And I tell people that both social and neuro-biological research has shown that yes, you can.”

Eight years, lots of research, questions, answers and soul-searching and Lachie and Kate have reached a decision together — they’re going to take the next step. “Reservations aside, we’re doing the right thing and I’m ready for what’s coming next.”

Baptcare is looking for foster carers in the Western and inner Northern suburbs of Melbourne. If you can open your heart and your home to one or more children we’d love to hear from you. Contact Ana on 03 9373 3800 and start the conversation today.