A BENDIGO couple have welcomed about 100 foster children into their home during the past 18 years.
Paul and Julie, whose surnames cannot be revealed in order to protect the identity of children in their care, are encouraging other people to lend a hand as part of National Foster Care Week.
“Sometimes it can be challenging, but we like to give them a go,” Paul said.
“Some kids come to us with problems and we try and sort through a lot of that and get their problems worked out.
“It’s good being a foster carer.”
Paul said opening their home to others had enriched their lives.
The couple have two children of their own, aged 19 and 24.
“It’s been good for them,” Paul said.
“It’s shown them the other side of life.
“They can see how the other half lives without families.”
Paul said St Luke’s was always on hand to offer its foster carers support.
“People going into it don’t have to start off long term like us,” he said.
“They could do respite and see how it goes.
“With us, some stay a day, some for a long time.
“We put ourselves out as long-term carers so it just depends on the demand.
“At times we’ve had more than one child at a time.
“It gives them somewhere stable to live.”