“Nana Barbie” opens heart and home to more than 100 children
MORE than 100 children have benefited from the care provided in the safe and nurturing home of Mount Gambier woman Barb Sinclair.
For almost two decades, ac.care has often called on Ms Sinclair at short notice to provide a bed for a child with nowhere else to go after being taken into state care by the Child Protection Department.
Some of those children have only stayed a few nights or weeks and then moved into long-term foster care placements or been reunited with family, but in other cases they have remained for years with the woman many know and cherish as “Nana Barbie”.
Ms Sinclair first became a foster carer after her children had left home and she was widowed at the age of 45.
“Those children I have welcomed into my home bought a lot of love into my life,” she said.
“Some of those kids arrive with nothing and no sense of self-worth … some have had a hell of a life, so you have to recharge them and learn about their experiences.
“It is a hard calling, but it's worth every hour, it really is for the love of a child and to offer them a better chance at life.”
Hieke welcomes babies into heart and home
MURRAYLANDS woman Hieke decided over a decade ago her mission in retirement would be to nurture infants in her home. Today, her walls are adorned with the faces of close to 40 babies she has cared for, providing a safe and stable environment, often from birth to the age of three months and sometimes longer.
Hieke and her supportive husband Harry are among more than 180 individuals and couples who open their homes and hearts to children in need as part of ac.care’s network of foster carers across eastern regional South Australia.
Hieke became a foster carer after a television news program highlighting the needs of abandoned babies affected by foetal alcohol syndrome captured her attention.
“I think it is my calling and I love looking after kids,” Hieke said from her home near Murray Bridge.
“It has enriched my life and the 12 years I have volunteered as a foster carer has been a great journey – you learn something new from every child.”
Foster care story awarded
A revealing interview between a South East foster child and her carers won former ABC South East Open Producer Marcus Thompson a top media award.
At the SA Media Awards in Adelaide, Mr Thompson won in the Best Coverage of Youth Affairs category for his story Foster Carer's Perspective.
Mr Thompson said it was an honour to win the category for a story he believed needed to be told. In the 5 minute video 16-year-old Anna* interviews her foster parents, taking the opportunity to ask them some probing questions.