Warrnambool mother Lara Edwards thought being a single parent made her ineligible to offer care to vulnerable children.
The 23-year-old said although she knew the community were desperate for carers she never thought to put her hand up for the role.
These children's needs are more important than protecting myselfLara Edwards
It wasn’t until her mother Andrea, who works in youth support, encouraged her to enquire that Ms Edwards first learnt of the many forms of care on offer.
“I didn’t think I could do it because I’m young and single and I have a three-year-old son,” she said. “I did some googling and saw how much of a need there was and how flexible caring could be.” Ms Edwards has been a Brophy Family and Youth Services foster carer since February.
She admits while initial concerns included growing attached to the children, different techniques had helped her through this.
“I read a quote and it said these children’s needs are more important than protecting myself,” she said.
Ms Edward’s foster care week message is simple.
”These kids aren’t statistics, they’re not case files. They have names and personalities and you’ll love them so much and they’ll love you.”