Providing care for teenagers

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For over three years, John and Verity have welcomed foster children into their home for respite, emergency, and short term stays. Children from ages 2 to 18, individuals and siblings, one night, a month, a year: John and Verity have had them all through their doors. While Verity works full time, John takes on a lot of the day-to-day responsibility for the children such as attending medical and therapy appointments.

The family has recently started taking on foster children for longer term stays, a move Verity said was prompted by the need for carers to take on teenagers, something that can be challenging at times. Two teenagers have been with John and Verity for one year. One will transition to independent living when she turns 18, while Verity hopes the 16 year old will stay with them until he too turns 18.

When becoming a foster carer, Verity considered what special activity she could offer the children. As she is an enthusiastic sewer, she now shares her skill with her foster children, who enjoy getting involved no matter their age. Each child gets a pillowcase, with the younger ones choosing their fabrics while the older children sew it themselves. Often the children opt to make items for their mum, and are understandably proud of their achievement.

Verity said Challenge Foster Care always responded quickly to concerns, providing support and a carer hotline.  While it was always sad to see the children move on, Verity focuses on making their time together a positive break in their journey that she hopes they remember.

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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