Episode 1

April 16, 2024


Why "Fostering Together"?

Why "Fostering Together"?
Fostering Together
Why "Fostering Together"?

Apr 16 2024 | 00:14:12


Show Notes

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Fostering Together Podcast!

Join hosts Brendan and Tracy as we embark on an inspiring journey through the world of fostering. In this episode, we peel back the curtain on our personal fostering adventure, sharing the heartfelt story that propelled us from curiosity to becoming active participants in the foster care system. From Tracy's early inspiration sparked by a friend's transformation in foster care, to Brendan's initial unfamiliarity but growing commitment, we delve into the motivations, challenges, and triumphs of our journey. This episode isn't just our story; it's an invitation to explore the profound impact fostering can have on both the children and families involved. Whether you're a seasoned foster carer or just fostering curiosity, this episode promises insights, inspiration, and the beginning of a community-centric exploration into the world of fostering.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:00:11] - Brendan and Tracy introduce themselves and the inception of their fostering journey.
  • [00:02:46] - Tracy's personal backstory and the catalyst for her fostering passion.
  • [00:03:41] - Brendan shares how he was drawn into the fostering world and the powerful stories that solidified his decision.
  • [00:04:31] - The driving forces behind starting the "Fostering Together" podcast and the goals they hope to achieve.
  • [00:06:04] - Discussion on the need for more foster carers and addressing common concerns.
  • [00:07:09] - Exploring how Brendan and Tracy plan to support and provide resources to the fostering community.
  • [00:09:47] - The vision for creating a supportive and educational platform for foster carers.
  • [00:11:06] - How to connect with the growing "Fostering Together" community and contribute to the conversation.

Links & Resources:

Closing Remarks:

If today's episode has touched your heart or sparked interest in the journey of fostering, we warmly invite you to rate, follow, share, and review our podcast. Your support helps us reach and inspire more potential foster carers, building a stronger, more informed community. Join us next time on Fostering Together, where we'll explore the foundational question: "What is Foster Care?" Your engagement and feedback are not just welcomed; they're essential to fostering a better future together.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:11] Speaker A: Hello and welcome to our very first episode of the fostering together podcast. I'm Brendan. [00:00:18] Speaker B: And I'm Tracy. [00:00:19] Speaker A: And together we're on a journey of fostering together, which started in Tracy's head a long, long time ago. So, Tracy, tell us a little bit about the backstory of how our family got into fostering. [00:00:29] Speaker B: It was a long, long time ago, back when I was 16 years old, I had a friend who was, I now know, was in a Kinkare situation. So living with family, we all knew at school that she wasn't happy, it wasn't happy. And we did feel for her, you know, not until we were 16 that she disappeared from school and came back and she'd been taken out of kingdom, put into a foster placement. And the change in her was absolutely amazing. Just turned into such a happy person because she had people around her that cared for her, wanted to do things just for her, like paint a bedroom, which I had had happened a few times by that stage, and I was grateful and happy. But to her, it was just so amazing that somebody wanted to do that for her. And I just remember seeing the change in her and remember thinking, I wonder if this family knows how much they've made a difference to her so quickly. Obviously, this was a young, naive look at it, but I just knew that I wanted to do, if I was ever possible, I wanted to be able to do that for somebody else, too. And I think during my life, I grew up in the UK. Anything fostering related? I followed in the news and I read books. I always sort of had a toe dipped in that water to know what was going on. And I thought about it more at times than other times. At one time, when our son was about ten, he's our youngest, I looked at it, but we had a lot going on in our family, and I just realized it wasn't the right time. Ten years later, I was working a very boring job, not what I wanted to do. And I looked at my life, what do I want to do? And fostering just. It kept popping up into my mind. So I thought, okay, let's look at this. Let's see if it's possible, if it's affordable, all of that. And luckily, an open night was planned for the next month in our area. So I put the question to Brendan, would he come along? And he did. So did my son. And rest is history from there. [00:02:46] Speaker A: And I guess where I came into it, you and I have been together quite a long time, and married. But it was that time when we was about 2019. And that information night opportunity came up and you spoke to me, and to be fair, when I was 16, really all I cared about was football and partying, probably in that order. I would say fostering wasn't part of my thought pattern at all. But when you started to talk to me about it and it was like, well, I love kids. We've always loved kids together. So it was one of those things that I started to embrace with open arms. And when we went to the information night and the story that the lady shared with us about her own situation in fostering, or she was a carer, but the story around the little person who came into her care, and eventually, I think she adopted her. And it was just a beautiful story. And I think I was in hook, line and sinker from that moment onwards. And we've thoroughly enjoyed the journey. [00:03:41] Speaker B: Absolutely. I mean, we're still very early on in that journey, really, compared to some people that we've talked to. [00:03:49] Speaker A: Yeah, we're fortunate, but there's a lot of people that we've been able to meet in a short space of time, you know, even in the two and a half, three years that we've sort of been involved in the fostering system, and so many fantastic people with the biggest hearts, you know, the biggest drive to help young people hopefully aspire and get maybe a little bit of a better start to life than what they've had the opportunity to have so far. So it's a great community to be involved in, and I guess that leads us to, for you, like, what was it about doing a podcast that excited you? I'm not sure I can use the word excited because it doesn't really excite you that much, but there's some things that you want to get, and then I can maybe share some things that I think I want to get from something like this. [00:04:31] Speaker B: No, excite's not the word I would use. No. I love learning, and I love learning from other people, and it's hard to do that. But nowadays, with the Internet and especially with podcasts, you can really get a community going and learn from each other. We're not starting this podcast with any answers to give. We're on this journey to learn as well. Learn as we go, learn from everybody out there. That bit really excites me. You always want to be a better person, a better carer, and I think this is a great way to make that happen. [00:05:14] Speaker A: Yeah, I couldn't agree more on the, again, going back to the people we've had a chance to meet and the experiences that people have shared with us and everyone's had different experiences. Some have been in it quite actually a lot that we've met have been in a long time, haven't they? And there is an issue, and that's part of the thing for the podcast for me is that bringing how do we help build a community of people that are already established carers, but willing to learn and offer help to more carers that are out there and support each other? But even more importantly is can we help the system, particularly in New South Wales, where we are, but across Australia, to try and get more people interested in care? Because the unfortunate reality is that there's a lot of kids in care, there's not enough carers in the system. So if we can play a small part in contributing to helping the system, get more people into the system to help the young people, then that would be awesome. [00:06:04] Speaker B: Absolutely. They definitely need more carers and I think we need more information out there. I know when I was looking, one of the main concerns that I had that I thought we would have is can we afford to do this? But yes, you can. There are ways. There is help out there, you don't always know that, but there are ways to help you do what you want to do. [00:06:29] Speaker A: Let's talk a bit about how we want to help people, because I know, again, you're the idea generation person of the two of us. I think, I guess from my side, I'm keen to, like you said, continue to learn, but also the opportunity to develop tools, to develop resources. You know, you've got a bit of a bit more information around that than I do. But even in some of the transitions we've done, you know, you've done a fantastic job with how those processes work. Even when we've done our first one, you were seen to be across things and just know when to move toys to different places and stuff like that. So I think it's a gift that you've got. But what, what sort of resources do you want to play a part in? [00:07:09] Speaker B: I think I read the literature as well to help you. [00:07:14] Speaker A: You saying I don't? [00:07:17] Speaker B: No, I'm saying that maybe it's a. [00:07:19] Speaker A: Bit like our holidays where you sort of organise all that sort of stuff and I'm just along for the ride and have a great holiday. [00:07:24] Speaker B: Yes, yes, I think that's it. Because you are helped along transition. A lot of people have gone before. You do have a plan in front of you. A lot of it's common sense and everything, but there are plans to help you when to transition things and how to do that. And the transitioning is one of the best and hardest part of fostering. [00:07:49] Speaker A: So really what we're looking to do through this podcast and from episode one and beyond is to establish a community of carers, but particularly people in the out of home care sector and a supportive community that can help each other learn, grow, develop and continue to work for the best outcomes for the kids. And that's some content type stuff, resources, that's some stories from all sorts of places, that's information from anywhere that we can grab that we think is going to be useful for the community. [00:08:16] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. It's, you know, you go through your carer training and it's really child orientated, which it should be, but there's so much that it just can't cover. The court processes, the process of why children are removed, how they're removed, who removes them, all of this you have to sort of learn as you go along and you pick up bits. I mean, we were two years in before we'd even heard of a section 90, which is a very important thing to know. And you know, it's just in everything in life, if you're informed, you can act better, you know better, you can deal with things better. To have a child in your home and not know what's going on with them. They're having court dates, but what are these court dates? What are they for? Why aren't I hearing anything about what happened in that, that court date? If it was your own children, you'd be completely on top of it. And these children, when they're in your home, they are your children. And you want to do for them what you do for your own children. And to be as informed as you can, I think will help you be a better foster parent, definitely. As well as all the trauma training that we need more, we just want to drink that in and all of that. There's lots of carers out there with all that information locked up inside of them and to ask them to talk about it and share their information, I think that's going to be huge for everybody. [00:09:47] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's a good time for us to shout out to the starting, growing community. We sent out a few messages to people in the community that we know, and we've already got 15 people on our little mail list, which is a great starting point. But hey, I know plenty of people out there that have started podcasts and done other things, and they're flat out getting two or three onto their list to start with. So it's a highly engaged community and there's people crying out for extra help and resources. So I really hope we can develop this podcast and anything else that comes from it as a go to resource. But I guess what we also have to let people know is that this is not a replacement for professional advice. We are not professionals. We are carers and we are just here sharing experiences. We will bring in the experts from time to time to give that bit of information. But ultimately, we are not professionals in this area. We are carers and we care for children. And if you do need professional advice, then you need to go to the right places. [00:10:45] Speaker B: Absolutely. And there's lots of places to go to for that professional advice. A lot of the carer support, I think is for the carers. Just sometimes someone at the end of a phone is amazing. To just stop that feeling of I'm alone in this, even that is, is amazing. [00:11:06] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. So just for our, for everyone listening in the growing community. So we do have a Facebook page. Again, some of us are not that sort of all over Facebook, but it is a great space to build community in. So we have created a Facebook page called fostering together. So please go and join that there and we'll get some conversations going. Also, you can join our growing mail list. So you go to fosteringtogether. Just put in your name and email address and you'll get on our mail list, you'll get a few emails from our system to say, hey, welcome. And also we are asking you for feedback. What do you want to hear on the podcast? What sort of stuff do you want to learn? What do you want to know about fostering and what sort of experts would you like to bring in or for us to bring in to help you learn and grow and for this to become a very valuable resource for you. So get on the Facebook page, fostering together. That's the group and the website, again, to join our list is fosteringtogether AU list. We also ask people, because algorithms, none of us know what these algorithms do, but apparently what they are supposed to do is if people enjoy the content, then make sure you get on and either follow the show on your favorite audio podcast platform so that you see the episodes coming into your feed each week, and also rate the podcast. Give us a review because that really helps with the algorithm to push it out to more and more people. So as I said, we're really dedicated and focused. This is a massive passion project for us to grow this community and to help people. Tracy, anything else you'd like to say before we share what we've got coming up in episode two? [00:12:47] Speaker B: No, I'll just go straight ahead and share what we've got in episode two. Which is, what is foster care? I think if we're going to talk about foster care, we should understand what foster care is as the first building block. There are different types of foster care. To have someone in your home every day may not be doable for you. For instance, there is a foster care called respite care, where you might have a couple of children once a weekend or twice a weekend. There are different types that can suit your lifestyle. There are different ways to help. And I think it's very important to first understand what foster care is. The different types of foster care. [00:13:29] Speaker A: Absolutely. So we're looking forward to even ourselves learning a bit more about that. So we're prepared for the interview and or for the conversation, and we can get some good information out to our community. So once again, thank you for listening to myself and Tracy share our immediate thoughts on this journey of fostering together and listening to episode one once again, please rate subscribe on your favorite audio podcast platform and chuck a comment there as well. It all helps us and keep going on this wonderful journey. So thank you for joining us on fostering together, because every child deserves a champion.

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