Making a big difference
GIVING up your own time and most of your life to care for another is a great gift to give any child.
And, Rachael Gooch is living proof that one person can make a difference.
Ms Gooch has been a foster carer and an out-of-home care facilitator for the last two years and has never looked back.
In 2008, after having no children, Ms Gooch looked to foster care as a means for looking after children.
First starting off in a short term capacity she now predominantly looks after children who need long-term care.
Ms Gooch started off with one child but now looks after five children.
She said she could see much more benefits for children in long-term situations because you are able to connect better with the child.
“Long term makes you more inclined to work with children and see the results. With short term they just come and go.”
The main aim of foster care is reunification and Ms Gooch explains that the end goal is working with the kids and getting them back to their original homes.
Though rewarding, foster care can at times be challenging.
“You go through the honeymoon period but eventually the true behaviours come through. There is no such thing as a bad child, you just need to work with children in different ways.”
Having first become a foster carer through Anglicare, Ms Gooch said she has great support networks in the community but that the main challenge she faces is the lack of services in Central Queensland such as a speech pathologist.
Ms Gooch could not just stop at foster caring – she also works in residential care aimed at teenagers from 12 to 17.
The many residential care homes throughout Gladstone are for children that have been removed from their homes but are not ready to enter foster care due to behavioural problems.
“These children reside in these houses with workers coming in 24/7 to keep the children in schooling and involved in the community.”
Ms Gooch says she will never give up the opportunity to be a foster carer.
“I will always do it. It is way too rewarding not to. I wouldn’t give it up for the world.”
The world always needs more foster carers and interested people can contact Anglicare on 4972 8220 where full training will be provided.
For more on child protection week head to http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/childsafety