Former foster child Caitlin Pobje shares how her time within the foster care system shaped her into the woman she is today.
Caitlin Pobje went into care when she was 11. She stayed in care until she was 18 years old. While most of her foster care placements were unsuccessful, Caitlin acknowledges that each fostering experience positively helped her to grow and develop as a person.
“I am so grateful for all of the people who have helped me,” Caitlin says.
“I still talk to most of the people who looked after me. I am grateful for my experience in care. It taught me so many values and has given me so much passion and made me a stronger person. It taught me the value of life and really showed me how to be grateful of people and help.
“I was given the opportunity to leave a life that I perceived as normal and instead gave me the ability to be a child and a teenager. I would never change my experience as I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.”
Caitlin has used her experiences to shape her future, becoming an advocate for child protection.
“With my experience growing up in care, I knew I could make a difference to other children who are unfortunately also in the system,” she says. “I have a great level of passion and really hope every child gets what they deserve — the right to a fulfilling childhood.
“I am now a passionate advocate with Create Foundation. Through this role, I have been given the chance to develop new programs and put my thoughts forward on what really needs to change. In the future, I will be working as a social worker focusing on child protection.
“Foster caring is a bumpy journey with many hard bumps, but no matter how little time you have with that child, you are making an impact in their lives and teaching that child they are worthy. It gives them so much hope, as well as the life that child has always deserved.
“There are more than 46,000 children in Australia who need care and protection. Foster carers are needed now more than ever.
“Please consider becoming a foster carer. It will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do; you will not regret it.”
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, visit www.iwanttofoster.com.au or call Key Assets on 1800 WE CARE.