So many children need our support

Geelong carers Rachael and Matt Buck, who have three children of their own, have been foster caring with MacKillop for eight years. (supplied)

MacKillop Family Services are well established in the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast region, providing support for foster carers in the precious work they do caring for vulnerable children and young people.

Due to a combination of factors, including the cost of living and rental crises, as well as the long-term impacts of COVID, enquiries into foster care from residents across the region are low.

“Most people in our community just don’t know of the need,” MacKillop’s Victorian Foster Carer Recruitment Manager Tania Ferris says.

“At any given time there are around 10,000 children and young people across the state who are living away from their families, many of whom require temporary care in a safe and secure home.”

MacKillop’s foster carers come from all walks of life.

“There is no blueprint for a foster carer,” Tania says.

“Our carers are singles, couples, families, home-owners, renters, students, part or full-time workers or retirees. They live in diverse family structures and come from many different cultures. The common factors are that they have a spare room in their home, and some room in their heart.”

MacKillop carers choose the type of care they wish to provide. That can range from emergency care for a night, respite care for a weekend, short term care for a couple of months or longer term care.

“One of the misconceptions about foster care is that people think it is a full-time commitment,” Tania says.

“That is so not the case. Our carers make it work for them – around their busy work, family and lifestyle commitments.”

Geelong carers Rachael and Matt Buck, who have three children of their own, have been foster caring with MacKillop for eight years.

“We felt we had more to give,” says Rachael. “Being able to give children the security of a loving, safe and happy environment is the most rewarding feeling. When people hear I’m a foster carer they think you have to be some kind of superhero, but it’s not like that at all. We just do what we can, and we get back far more than we put in.

“We love that we can do this as a family. Our own boys have learnt so much about empathy, gratitude and sharing. If foster care is something you’ve been thinking about, take the next step and find out if foster care is for you. There are so many children who need our support.”

MacKillop provides comprehensive training and ongoing support for their carers, including financial assistance to help with costs involved.

If you would like to learn more, register for one of MacKillop’s monthly online information sessions and hear directly from a MacKillop carer about their experience. Visit or ring 1300 791 677.