Finding freedom on the farm

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Nathan and Emma have provided short term, respite and long term placement for more than ten children on their farm. Currently, the family is hosting an 11-year-old girl on a short-term placement, and regular provide respite for a 6-year-old boy and two sisters aged 5 and 2.

They enjoy providing respite care as they can provide full-time carers with a break and develop a relationship with the foster children. Knowing they will see the child again allows Emma and Nathan to make plans for future activities. Living on a farm means they can provide an environment conducive to freedom and relaxation. If a child is frustrated they can get out and go for a run, swim, ride bikes or play with the animals. Often, foster children haven’t experience ‘ordinary’ family life and Nathan and Emma provide a safe, secure, calm environment where the children have all their needs met.

Nathan and Emma originally thought they would be ineligible to foster due to having three children of their own, but any concerns were easily overcome. They have found having biological children in the house has made it easier to set routines for the foster children. Emma and Nathan’s three sons, aged 13, 9 and 3, have been very involved with the fostering process, and their parents are pleased with the learning opportunities that have arisen. They say their sons love helping children in need and making new friends.

Emma and Nathan care for children who have demonstrated challenging behaviour and regularly attend training to assist them in dealing with difficult situations. Their naturally relaxed style works well when dealing with troubled children and they have developed strong support networks and participated in all the training opportunities that our Foster Care team offers. 

Author: Challenge Community Services

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About Challenge Community Services

60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disabilities. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2 500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 600 staff, 85 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.

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