When i was a child my family decided it wanted to foster children whose parents were unable to care for them anymore, I was about 8 when we first decided it, about 9 when we took in our first child. I remember my parents going off for training over a few weeks and then we went to meet the child (it was a hard placement so we met him over a few weeks before taking him in), Then after that we got his sister, who just appeared one day in my house (i don't remember how that happened), It was hell and really fun at the same time. Over the years we took in over 20 foster kids, most of which we are still in contact with now as adults.
I went through hell with some of the foster kids, and never knew how to handle any of it. My parents were totally clueless, they had never dealt with any of those issues before and did the best they could. As a young teen my older sister and i went to a conference for fostering in Sydney and we had to answer questions with a bunch of other fostering family kids about what it's like to be a fostering family. They promised us that what we said would make a difference to future foster carers kids, the ones who up until that point had been totally forgotten in the training of new parents.
Anyways, that never happened.
As an adult, a mother now, looking back at my life with everything that i went through at the hands of some of the foster kids i want to get some form of training or awareness to fostering families to help the children of these families know they arn't alone and that they have help if need be, but i have no idea where to start.
I have always felt that if i had been more aware of what the foster kids had been through, been told how to handle their issues a bit better then i wouldn't have ended up in the situations i found myself in. I was a very sheltered child until the kids we took in got violent, abusive and manipulative. My experiences weren't all bad, infact one of my best friends is a ex-foster child, but i had a couple that have shaped my life from some very negative experiences just as some have shaped my life from the positive ones.
My question is, Does anyone know where i should start? Anyone associated with DoCS who would have an idea? I use to live in NSW but now in QLD and have no idea what to do.
Should i contact the local DoCS?