16 February 2024


Meet a heart-warming family comprising Marie, Tony, two adult daughters, and a little girl who has found a permanent place in their home and hearts. We sat down with this extraordinary family to learn about their journey as foster carers.

For Marie, the lifechanging decision to become a foster carer was born out of lived experience.

As a teenager, she was largely raised by her grandparents – something Marie is eternally grateful for.

“I didn’t have the best circumstances when I was growing up, but my grandparents stepped up around my teenage years, and now I am who I am because of them,” she said. “I wanted to be that person for someone else. I felt like it was time to give that opportunity to someone else, to give back.”

Marie’s husband, Tony, agreed.

“It wasn’t part of our big grand plan, but I thought we should give it a go after Marie suggested it,” he said. “Our two daughters have grown up now and they’re off doing their own thing, so it seemed like the right time.”

To embark on their fostering journey, the family connected with Junction.

“We initially had an unsuccessful attempt at fostering where it wasn’t the right fit. It wasn’t long after that we received a call from Junction who suggested we take on a different child. They said, ‘we’ve got a little girl for you to meet.’ Of course, we did. That was it, we fell in love with K. That was three years ago.’

Prior to joining the family ‘K’ had been in a short-term foster placement.

“She was 17 months old at the time, and from the moment I met her onwards I would go to the other foster home every night after work so I could get to know her. I learned about her routines, got her used to me, bathed her, fed her, and put her to bed.”

Tony said most people were curious when he told them about his family’s role as foster carers.

“The response was usually really positive,” he said. “People would relate to it with their own stories, and some would say that they would like to do it one day too.”

“My hopes for her future are just that she is happy. She always asks me if she can be this or that, and I tell her she can be anything she wants to be.”

While becoming a foster parent presents unique challenges, the family were prepared through the pre-requisite ‘Shared Lives’ pre-assessment training as well as Junction’s specialised Trauma Training for foster carers. “Parenting a child who has experienced trauma is different,” Tony said. “Different things affect her behaviour compared to what our daughters were like at the same age. We did some training on this through Junction before we became foster carers, so we knew what to expect and how to handle it.”

Importantly, K maintains a connection with her biological mother, facilitated by Marie and Tony, through monthly catch ups. “It’s important for her to have a connection with her birth Mum. It’s where she came from, and we will always make the effort to ensure that relationship exists. She understands that she has two Mums, and she enjoys seeing her in the visits. K really benefits from it.”

Recently, Tony and Marie became the legal guardians of K, completing their experience with Junction’s family-based care program.

“Applying for guardianship meant hours of interviews with social workers for both us and our daughters, as well as providing personal and professional referees,” Marie said. “The last step was to go to court, which was in January this year. We found out on the day that it was all approved, and we were so happy.”

“I explained to K that it means she can stay with us forever, and she was so excited. She received a special certificate which she took to childcare to show everyone.

“My hopes for her future are just that she is happy. She always asks me if she can be this or that, and I tell her she can be anything she wants to be.”

Tony added: “She is a part of this family, there is no doubt. We will give her all the opportunities and guidance that we can, just like we did for our now adult daughters. The world is her oyster.”

As of February 2024, Junction supports 56 foster carers, who provide love and support to 53 children across 41 families and households.

Have you considered becoming a foster carer? Learn more by visiting

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