Short term foster carer, Marisa, was born for the job. Her heart is so big, the only thing she can do is share it with children in need. Over Marisa’s 20 years of caring, she has learnt a valuable philosophy that she’s passed onto her own children and that has helped them through life – to love in the moment. Not to worry about the past or the future, but to give 100% today, and right now.
Foster Carers provide safe and loving homes for children who aren’t able to live with their birth families. All types of carers look after children for varying amounts of time ranging from a few days to a couple of years or right up until they become an adult at 18 years old.
“I’m blessed. I have this ability to look after children. It would be a crime if I didn’t use it to help people that need me. Some people are good with animals, I’m good with children” says Marisa.
Marisa started foster caring in 1998 after seeing an ad in the church bulletin. She and her husband had three children, the youngest was five at the time, and they just thought “we can do this!” So they did, and have never looked back.
Even after the loss of her husband last year, her love for fostering has not faded. She gives every child that comes into her home all the care and energy they deserve. Because Marisa knows that not only is she changing their lives, but they also change hers.
“Sometimes I may have to cancel plans because a little baby has come into my care. But I don’t care. I feel more responsible to the baby that needs me, than going out.
“They have all touched my heart, no matter how long they have been with me. They each leave their little footprints on my soul.”
Having grown up with foster children in their home, Marisa’s own children have developed into the most accepting, non judgemental and caring people she knows. Marisa’s husband and children have been a wealth of support for her over the years. They treated each child who came into the house as their own; they were given household chores to share like everyone else; and became part of the family for as long as they were in their care, even if just for the night.
CatholicCare Sydney currently has 56 households available to care for children in need and last year we cared for an average of 71 children each month. This year CatholicCare Sydney and Marist180 have partnered to create a collaborative foster care service named Family Spirit. Together the two organisations will be able to provide the best possible support for vulnerable children and provide a safe and loving home, thanks to wonderful people like Marisa.
If you think you could open your home to children in need and would like more information about becoming a Foster Carer, please contact CCareline on 13 18 19.