Adopted at six weeks of age, Carolyn, 40, grew up in a loving, warm-hearted household. “I was very lucky,” she recalls. “My experience could have been very different. It could have been as bad as what some children go through.”

The mother of three girls from Sydney’s west wanted to do something to give back to the community as a result of her good fortune and decided to foster children who hadn’t been as lucky as she was.

Adopted at six weeks of age, Carolyn, 40, grew up in a loving, warm-hearted household. “I was very lucky,” she recalls. “My experience could have been very different. It could have been as bad as what some children go through.”

The mother of three girls from Sydney’s west wanted to do something to give back to the community as a result of her good fortune and decided to foster children who hadn’t been as lucky as she was.

Carolyn and husband Daniel, 38, started fostering two years ago, working as respite and short-term carers.

Life is often very lively in their home with three daughters to look after as well as the six foster children, ranging from babies to primary school aged children, who have come and gone in that time.

At the moment they offer respite care once a month to a four-year-old boy whose mother is ‘getting it together at school’ and more recently they have taken in a baby girl, aged six months, on a short-term basis.

She said having a sense of humour helps when carers experience challenging behaviour. So far she’s experienced everything from children who insist on lying down on escalators to throwing full-on ‘wobblies’ that go on for hours.

What’s heartening is the support of her local community. “Sometimes people don’t understand why you would chose to foster, but where I live, people have rallied around and been very supportive. I have mothers at my daughters’ school giving me bags of lovely, hardly worn clothes for the children to wear.”

Carolyn was happy to share her story to encourage other people to become carers. “What Daniel and I want to do is show these children that there is another way to live. I am hopeful down the track that they will remember that there is a nice way to live and just live it.”