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Celebrating the Nilsens during National Families Week

Foster Carers Kristy and Chris sit with a cup of coffee or tea in their home. The Lutheran Care logo appears in the bottom right hand corner.

Celebrating the Nilsens during National Families Week

When walking through the front door of the Nilsen family home, you are not only welcomed with a smile, the offer of a cuppa and accompanying sweet treat, but are also met with a thought-provoking quote, which sits proudly on the entry stand and updated monthly.

Long-time Foster Carers Kirsty and Chris Nilsen have opened their hearts and home to many children and young people over the years, while also raising their four biological children.

This week during National Families Week, and we are ‘Celebrating Family Diversity and Connections’ by acknowledging the Nilsens, one of Lutheran Care’s 246 carer households.

The motivational quote in the Nilsen home this month inspired conversations around what you are thankful for.

“It’s a privilege to be a Foster Carer,” Kirsty said.

“We are thankful to be able to do what we do.

“We are a good team who work well together.”

Kirsty and Chris became Foster Carers in 2012, but this wasn’t the first time Kirsty had welcomed young people into her life. In her early 20s, Kirsty was living in NSW and was a short term carer for teenage girls.

Joining Lutheran Care in 2014, and initially becoming long term carers, in 2016 Kirsty and Chris provided care for a newborn, which shifted their focus to emergency, short term and respite care.

The couple also acknowledge the flexibility of emergency, short term and respite care, enabling them to take a break and refresh when they have needed to and allowing them to concentrate on biological family celebrations and milestones.

Kirsty and Chris credit the longevity of their Foster Care journey to acceptance from their family, as well as the passion they have for providing a stable environment to little people in their time of need.

Through being a Foster Carer, Kirsty has become involved in the Cocoon Program funded by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Cocoon Program gives some of the most vulnerable babies in South Australia access to coordinated care.

Kirsty has experienced first-hand how the program can benefit a vulnerable newborn.

“I have seen a child with significant deficits and injuries who is now thriving,” Kirsty said.

“I noticed a change within a couple of months and now we are watching developments every day.”

Kirsty said the program enables early detection of any health problems, with ready access to services resulting in better outcomes for the children.

“We are motivated by our hearts for the kids and knowing we have contributed to good outcomes for those children,” Kirsty added.

It takes a village to raise a child and Lutheran Care believes that a child can never have too many people love them.

Lutheran Care invites you to get in touch or register to attend an upcoming information session if you’re interested in learning more about Foster Care. The journey to fostering looks different for everyone and there is equal variety in the experience of fostering itself.

You never know where the path could take you, but Lutheran Care’s dedicated Foster Care team is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Find out more about fostering here.

Be the Village.