Growing up with foster children was what inspired Shepparton’s Nicole Waldron to work at not-for-profit organisation Berry Street.ESTELLE GRIEPINK September 5, 2014 4:01am
Parents her inspiration: Shepparton’s Nicole Waldron grew up with foster children, which led to her pursuing a career in the field at Berry Street.
Ms Waldron was 11 when her parents became foster carers, welcoming children into the family home for as short as one night or as long as two years.
‘‘It was a really good experience because it brought a lot of things to my attention at a younger age and I feel like I developed empathy early on because of it,’’ Ms Waldron said.
‘‘When you’re a kid, you’re just about playing and doing your thing and then we’d have these kids coming in and it really made you appreciate how good your life was.
‘‘I also got to see how my parents were actually making a change in their lives.’’
Ms Waldron said her positive experience with foster children was what made her pursue a career in the field.
She worked in residential care before becoming a case manager in Berry Street’s kinship care program in April this year.
Kinship care differs from foster care because relatives or family friends provide it when a child cannot live with their own parents.
The carers can be anyone from older siblings to grandparents.
Ms Waldron, who is based at the Shepparton office, supports 12 carers across the Hume region.
‘‘We’re responsible for supporting the carer and making the child’s needs are being met,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s really rewarding when the carer is like, ‘Thank you so much, I feel so supported,’ and you know you are helping the child receive the best care they can get.’’
Ms Waldron said there was a huge demand for foster carers in Shepparton.
While kinship care involves the relatives or family friends of the child, anyone can express their interest to becoming a foster parent.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says 616 carers left the system during 2012-13, while only 442 were recruited.
‘‘More carers have left the program than actually joined, so I’d definitely encourage people to do it,’’ Ms Waldron said.
‘‘It’s a really good because you’re giving the child a full, rich family environment — you can’t recreate that family vibe.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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