Foster care is a family effort for Wyrallah's Kelly clan

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: Wyrallah couple Sam and Justin Kelly and their family have embraced foster caring.
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: Wyrallah couple Sam and Justin Kelly and their family have embraced foster caring. Cathy Adams

FOR Wyrallah couple Sam and Justin Kelly, foster care was always on the cards.

Even with four kids of their own, the Kellys still felt they had more to give.

"We've got lots of love to give, so why wouldn't we?" Ms Kelly said.

"We don't feel it's amazing, it's just another two kids.

"If we boil four eggs, what's the difference of boiling six?

"I just think we're willing."

When the Kellys decided it was time to take on two foster kids, the couple already had four children of their own, aged 9, 13, 15 and 17.

Ms Kelly said it was the unwavering support of their four kids that really turned the idea of fostering into a reality.

"It's really been a blessing for us to see how they work with the kids because not only are they helpful but they love it," she said.

"We've really come into it as a team."

The family is currently caring for two girls, a 10 month old and a 20 month old.

"Going back to the changing nappies was a bit of a shock," Mr Kelly said.

"But I find a greater joy in giving for others, it's much more rewarding."

Ms Kelly said having the support of their Foundations Care caseworker had helped make the process a lot less stressful.

"Having that support, knowing that if anything went wrong I had my caseworker at hand," she said.

This week is Foster Care Week.

Now in its 24th year, Foster Care Week recognises the pivotal work of foster carers in our community and the importance of ensuring they are valued and supported in their critical role.

Could you be a foster carer?

More than 17,800 children and young people are unable to live at home across NSW.

NSW needs to attract 450 new carers in the next year, with a high need for emergency carers, respite carers and short-term carers. Long term carers are still required, with currently legislative reforms enabling more adoption from out of home care.

Agencies provide foster carers with ongoing support, training and mentorship to assist them in providing the best care they possibly can.

Foster carers are a diverse group, ranging from traditional families to single people, empty nesters, caring professionals and same-sex couples. There is a huge need for Aboriginal carers.

Anyone interested in finding out more information about becoming a long-term, emergency foster carer, respite foster carer or short-term foster carer can go to the Fostering NSW website or phone 1800 236 783.

Topics:  foster care

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