When Janna tells people that she has been a foster carer for five years, there’s often an assumption that she is too young to be a foster carer.
The 27-year-old provides emergency and respite care to Queensland children and young people who urgently need a place to stay.
“Foster carers are usually a lot older, but I signed up when I was 22. Five years later, it’s still something that I am passionate about,” Janna said.
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Helping young people and working with families is what drives Janna to provide a supporting environment for children and young people.
“I work full time and travel a lot for work, which can make juggling the work-life balance challenging at times,” Janna said.
“But that’s why I chose to do emergency and respite care, because that fits into my lifestyle and gives me the flexibility to maintain a good balance.”
On any day of the week, there are more than 10,500 children and young people in Queensland unable to live at home for a range of reasons, including family and domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, abuse and neglect.
With so many children and young people needing a safe, secure and nurturing place to call home, Churches of Christ in Queensland General Manager of Children, Youth and Families, Leanne Rutherford, said they are urgently looking for more foster and kinship carers.
“We welcome carers of different ages and backgrounds, couples and sole carers, men and women, with children or without,” Ms Rutherford said.
“The most important requirement is a commitment to providing a safe and loving environment to support children and young people at a time when they need it the most. If you have an open heart and a stable home, you could help transform the life of a young person.”
Churches of Christ in Queensland manages more than 1,700 registered foster and kinship carers throughout Queensland.
“Many people believe that carers have to be parents themselves, with a great deal of experience which often comes with time and age,” Ms Rutherford said.
“We find that people of all ages and experiences have something special to offer children, and encourage anyone who is thinking of providing care to children to start the conversation with us.
“If you have empathy, a willingness to be supported to grow and work as part of a team and are ready to get involved with children and young people, no matter their situation, you could be a foster carer.”
To find out more information and start the discussion about becoming a foster carer, go to ItTakesaCommunity.com.au or call 1800 222 273.