Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents Even as the baby lay in her arms, Jade
knew that the clock was ticking,
counting down the minutes until she
would place her flesh and blood in the
arms of a neighbour and walk away, a
victim of society s expectations, of poverty, of life.
Jeremiah was just 10 days old when his mother
Jade realised she could not cope. Leaving her baby
behind, Jade retreated into a fog of guilt and
depression, the responsibility of her newborn
thrust onto strangers.
Fortunately, those strangers were foster carers
provided by Wanslea Family Services, one of WA s
hardest working fostering units.
Stephan Lund, manager of the Out of Home
Care division, says of Jeremiah s case: "Fortunately
Jeremiah was a bright child who bonded quickly
with his new carers, Julie and Mark. Over the
next few months, they worked closely with Jade
to ensure that Jeremiah was able to recognise her
as his mother, allowing overnight stays and then
Jeremiah is now back living full time with his
mother, while Julie and Mark retain the status
of honorary aunt and uncle to the little boy they
came to love, as he continues to develop and grow.
A happy ending to an unhappy beginning and
testament to the long-term commitment Wanslea
and its bank of foster carers invest in their charges,
no matter how short or long the period of time
they stay under their wing.
Jeremiah s story is not an unusual one. The
cycle of poverty, drug abuse, mental health
problems and a disintegration of the wider caring
community has given rise to an underclass of par-
ents unable to cope with the pressures of childcare.
These parents may start out with good inten-
tions but rapidly descend into a particularly
destructive brand of domestic chaos which may
inevitably lead their child to Wanslea s door.
Having your child taken into care is the last
resort, the final step after every other possible
For foster families, the chance to "help complete the
jigsaw" of a child's life is an exercise of the heart. But,
as Gabi Woolgar reports, there's a desperate shortage
of people willing to take up fostering and make a real
difference in WA. images emma van dordrecht
THE PROCESS THAT
REMOVES A CHILD
FROM THE CARE OF ITS
PARENT IS NECESSARILY A
COMPLICATED AND HIGHLY
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