1. What motivates you to work at Lutheran Care?
After years of working in residential care settings, I wanted to be part of a system that cared for our young people; their wellbeing and outcomes. I believe in Foster Care! It takes a special person to open their home to young people in need, to love a child not born to you as your own and give them every opportunity to heal and do well in life. As a Foster Carer myself, I have seen firsthand the difference a loving, stable home can provide to a young person in need and while it can be challenging at times, the rewards in every small win, every little change for the better, every moment of healing far outweigh that. I work in Foster Care because I want to ensure our carers get the best support available to them, so they can continue doing what they do well, loving kids. I work for Lutheran Care because the culture and team here genuinely live by the values of Social Justice, Compassion, Inclusion and Commitment … and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
2. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to reaching this point in your career?
I always wanted to work with young people, to be a part of helping kids realise their past didn’t have to dictate their future. Social Work then seemed like the natural choice, to work in community with young people, who through no fault of their own, faced hardship. To be someone who could provide them a leg up, a safe home, an opportunity to heal and help them break the cycle of trauma and abuse, I felt, was a great use of my time and life. I have now been a social worker for 19 years and I love it. I have worked in residential care, community development, migration with refugee minors, trafficking victims and now Foster Care.
3. How do you demonstrate this year’s theme “Embrace Equity”?
Fairness or making sure people get access to the same opportunities is a core part of what it means to be a social worker. It’s part of why we do what we do. It would be nice if we lived in a world where everyone was given the same opportunities from birth but we don’t, some kids don’t have access to school or even basic housing. How then could they be expected to compete in the adult world alongside those who did? Embracing Equity for me means finding those gaps that would hold a person back from achieving all they can and providing supports that help them gain access to the same opportunities as others.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
If you want to change the world, first go home and love your family – from that everything else flows! Also, don’t whinge about a problem if you’re not willing to be part of the solution.