Tough job but the reward's worth it
BEING a foster carer is not the easiest job in the world but the rewards make up for the struggles, according to Maryborough couple Glenda Pfrunder and Clint Marstella.
Queensland is experiencing a shortage of foster carers: in the Fraser Coast region there are 110 foster families providing care to 207 foster children.
Glenda and Clint have cared for dozens of foster children over the past seven years.
“We do it for the enjoyment of seeing kids happy,” Glenda said.
“The main goal is to get them back home with their parents and in the meantime to offer them stability and try to meet their needs.
“Foster carers need to have patience, time and love. You also need an open mind because sometimes the child’s values are very different to your own.
“A lot of kids come to us with problems and we help them work through that.
“Some foster children are overnighters – others are long-term and stay until they are 18.”
Children are placed in foster care when their own parents are unable to care for them – through difficult circumstances, abuse or neglect.
The number of foster carers in Queensland has dropped by 142 carers between June 2009 and March 2010.
Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves urged people to open their hearts and homes to foster children and said indigenous carers in particular were needed in the Fraser Coast region to help care for indigenous children.
“The Maryborough Child Safety Service Centre received 1728 reports of suspected abuse and neglect in 2008-09,” he said.
Anyone interested in training to be a foster carer can call the Department of Child Safety on 1300 550 877.