Two foster parents are keen to get others on board with the foster parenting program, describing the process as deeply challenging but rewarding in a way they weren't expecting.
Martyn and Lyla Quinn took up the mantle just over a year ago, agreeing to raise two sisters aged eight and five. The two underwent extensive training and preparation for some of the unique challenges foster parenting can present.
The Quinns were motivated to sign up as foster carers after being unable to have children themselves - the two decided they had love to offer and were committed to doing something good with it.
Mr Quinn described the process of going through the training as comprehensive, and said that he initially thought the challenges described must be exaggerated. He added that he quickly found it to be 'on the money.'
"The kids come from different backgrounds and have different traumas, it's quite real. I don't know how else to say it, I wasn't expecting quite the harsh time," he said.
"We were told about it, we were trained for it. We got a lot of advice and knowledge but until it happens, you don't realise."
The pair were quick to add that "for every negative, there's ten positives" and extolled the joy they found from it.
"It does require a lot of patience but it's also a blessing."
It's currently Foster Care Week, celebrating foster carers across Australia. Martyn and Lyla however, said it wasn't a huge deal to them and that they didn't actually know it was happening.
"Martyn and I don't really think of ourselves as foster carers, we're just their other mum and dad... We're just trying to be as normal a family as possible and create a normal environment for them," Mrs Quinn said.
"When they go to school or dancing or football or whatever, they're just like all the other kids. We want to give them stability and that routine," Mr Quinn added.
Brenda Trembath is the manager of CareSouth's Griffith office, and said that NSW was in need of more foster carers.
"If you live in Griffith or surrounding areas and wish to open your heart and your home to these vulnerable young children, please call us. We can help you begin your journey to a life changing experience," she said in a statement.
The Quinns echoed the plea.
"I would say to people that there's a great demand out there for foster carers. I think the reason people don't pursue it is they have to protect their own heart and feelings ... that was one of our fears and we just decided we had to overcome it,"Mrs Quinn said.
"I'd encourage other people to pursue it because there are so many children who need a loving safe home."
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