Make a difference
You can make a difference in a child’s life by becoming a foster or kinship carer. At the heart of it, foster and kinship care is caring for another person’s child – for as little as a few days or weeks, or sometimes years until they’re able to join their family again or head out into the world as an adult.
Never underestimate the lasting difference you could make in a child’s life by providing them with a home, a positive family experience and a place where they feel safe, supported and cared for. Our experience of foster and kinship carers is that they’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the lives of children and young people.
Mercy Community Services is here to support you through the entire foster and kinship care journey. We provide foster and kinship care services in the areas of Caboolture, Brisbane, Logan, Beaudesert, Gold Coast, Greater Ipswich and South West Queensland – and are looking for new carers in all of these areas. Are you ready to make a difference?
Find out if foster caring is right for you – take our short quiz
More about foster and kinship care
What our carers say
Meet Kerry and Darren
We wanted to grow our family and becoming foster carers was right for us. We started out doing respite care and are now doing long-term care. We have a comfortable life and wanted to share that with other children. It can be challenging, but seeing the kids happy is so rewarding. We take our foster child on holidays with us and to other places, and as a family we’re really enjoying it.
I would say to anyone thinking about foster care, just go for it. As long as you have patience, and are willing to put the children first, look after them and keep them safe – just give it a go. There’s so much support out there for foster carers, especially from Mercy Community Services – so just know you’re not doing it alone. We’ve been doing it for 18 months now and we’re so glad we took on this role.
I’d always wanted to be a foster carer and caring for teenagers just felt right. When I first became a foster carer, I provided permanent care for three teenagers. I now provide respite and emergency care for teenagers and I really enjoy it because I can relate to them. And even though caring for teenagers can be challenging, I’ve never, ever given up on them.
One of the most rewarding aspects of foster caring is seeing them develop into adulthood and lead rewarding lives. I provided respite care for a young boy who was very bright at school. I was so happy when he told me he’d secured himself a place at an excellent high school and is doing well there. It will make all the difference in the world for his future.
I’d encourage people thinking about foster care to consider providing care for teenagers. When a young person experiences what it’s like to live with a safe and nurturing family and be treated well – they will never forget it. You are, and always will, make a difference. No matter how long you have them, you will have made a difference.
I always knew that I wanted to be a foster carer. After I met another foster carer from Mercy Community Services, I decided to go ahead and do the training. I’ve never looked back. I’ve looked after 8 children since I started a year ago, and now have a foster son who will be with me until next year. I’ve been working with him to help him deal with his emotions, and while it’s been tough sometimes, it’s just been amazing and rewarding to see him come on in leaps and bounds. He’s doing well at school now and loves his teacher, has been able to start making friends, and he’s just a part of my family now. I know I’ve had a positive impact on his life and his future is going to be a lot brighter now. I couldn’t have done this without the support from Mercy Community Services – when I first became a foster carer, I called the out of hours on-call number all the time to ask them questions, and they were always there to support me and give me advice.
Meet Elizabeth and Paul
Blessed with four boys of our own, we decided we wanted to give back to children in need. In the 18 years we’ve been foster carers, we’ve provided respite, short-term, long-term and permanent care for more than 100 young children and young people. For 12 years, we looked after a special little boy who was profoundly disabled. The most rewarding part of foster caring was watching him reach milestones he was never expected to reach. Doctors told us he wouldn’t live past six months of age and would never walk or talk, but he lived to 12 years of age and learnt to walk with a frame. We were told he was lucky to have us as carers, but we were the lucky ones – he brought so much joy into our lives.
Our advice to people considering foster care is to just give children love - lots of love. If you open your heart and your home and just love the children in your care, it’s amazing what they can do and what they can achieve. You’ve just got to look beyond the behaviour and love the child – they’ve got that behaviour for a reason from whatever has gone on in their life. If you can just look beyond that, and learn to love them, they will bloom. Foster caring gives you an opportunity to learn something new every day – every child is unique and is a new lesson. Mercy Community Services has been with us every step of the way, and we couldn’t have done it without their support.
Meet Leanne and Ben
After having a child of our own, we decided we wanted to become foster carers and give other children our love and care. Five years on, we’ve provided respite, short-term, and long-term care for 27 young children, with most of the children aged newborn to three years old and we’ve found the experience to be very positive and rewarding. We don’t judge the foster child’s parents, which has helped. To us, having your children removed would have to be the worst penalty you could ever get – so we try to have a positive relationship with the parents where possible. And the best thing for us as foster carers is when the parents have gone and done what they need to do so their children can go back to them, because at the end of the day, they’re not our children. They’re just ours for a time to look after, love and care for.
Our son has really got a lot out of it too – he loves being a big brother to all the babies we care for. If anyone’s thinking about becoming a foster carer, we’d tell them to just go for it – it’s a hard decision and you have to think about whether it’s the right decision for you – but to just give Mercy Community Services a call and have a chat about it. It could end up being one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Names of foster carers have been changed and stock imagery and footage used in the production of this video to protect the identity of MCS foster and kinship carers, the child/young person in the placement and any future placements.