Twelve months ago, they enquired about becoming foster carers through Wesley Mission Victoria. But Ms Holden, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday, wondered if she was too old.
“Turns out we weren’t. We’ve discovered that if you love kids and you want to help, then you’re never too old,” Ms Holden said.
So far, 18 children have stayed at the couple’s house. While there are inevitable challenges, they believe the rewards far outweigh the tough times.
“Little by little you see the changes, and their growing confidence gives us so much joy,” Ms Holden said.
As a key local foster care agency, Wesley provides around-the-clock support and training to carers in the southern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Victoria experiences a shortfall of more than 300 carers every year. They provide essential care and support for children and young people who cannot live with their families.
Wesley CEO Paul Linossier encourages Victorians to open their hearts and homes to children and young people who are unable to live with their families.
“We’re spreading the message that you don’t need to be a superhero to be a foster carer,” Mr Linossier said.
“Wesley’s own carers constantly tell us that it’s the small, ordinary things that make a huge difference to a life of a child or young person in need, like reading a bedtime story or giving lots of encouragement on daily milestones.”
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, contact Wesley’s foster care team on (03) 9794 3000. You can find more information at wesley.org.au.