July 08, 2019
Published on Tuesday 16 April, 2019
Sydney-siders Patrick and David have been fostering with Lifestyle Solutions for four years. When the couple first met 10 years ago they’d initially planned to make the move to Melbourne, but since becoming foster fathers they wouldn’t have life any other way.
“When David and I decided we wanted to start a family together, we thought what better way to give back to the community than to take in children that were in desperate need of a loving and caring home.”
“When our girls came along, we had to replan our lives but we wouldn’t change a thing,” said Patrick.
Patrick and David began their fostering journey by providing short-term care to two children until they were restored to extended members of their birth families.
“We heard about Lifestyle Solutions through close friends of ours who have been fostering four children with the organisation for over ten years,” said Patrick.
Feeling more confident as carers, they then began fostering two-month old, Olivia*, in a long-term placement.
“Olivia had two older sisters who we’d occasionally meet when having contact with her birth family. There came a time when her two older sisters were also in need of care, so David and I made the decision to reunite the siblings and foster all three,” said Patrick.
It was a decision that transformed Patrick and David’s lives and they’re now starting the process of applying for guardianship of their three girls aged four, five and seven.
“Like any family, there have been challenging times, but fostering has been so incredibly rewarding and we’ve learnt so much about ourselves in the process,” said Patrick.
For Patrick and David, knowing that they have ongoing support from Lifestyle Solutions has made their fostering journey easier.
“We’ve had really good support from Lifestyle Solutions and it’s just helpful to have someone to reach out to if we ever need assistance with anything,” said Patrick.
Having an open line of communication with the birth families was also very important to Patrick and David who wanted the girls’ family to know that they’re always welcome in the children’s lives.
“The birth families know that we love their children as if they were our own and that our home is their home,” said Patrick. “To be successful as Foster Carers, it’s important to be in it for the right reasons. It’s been an interesting journey for us but we’re so happy we made the leap,” said Patrick.
*name changed for privacy purposes.