At age 15, Maya* was shoplifting, drinking and smoking, and often missed school.
She had already had many short-term foster care placements when she was placed with single foster carer, Jeannette*.
"I felt that building a strong foundation of trust was critical as Maya was in a highly emotional state," Jeannette says.
I felt that building a strong foundation of trust was critical as Maya was in a highly emotional stateFoster carer Jeannette
"I did need to set firm boundaries, but I didn't want to come down hard on her in an authoritarian way."
Maya gradually started to be honest with Jeannette and told her when she had made mistakes.
When she realised, Jeannette would provide essential items for her, such as toiletries and underwear, the shoplifting also stopped.
From the beginning, Jeannette's family supported her decision to foster and completely accepted her foster children into the family without judgment.
Jeannette's mother attended the Challenge Foster Care training with Jeannette.
That provided them both with a better understanding of the trauma many of these children have experienced and the different types of care they need in order to thrive.
Jeannette recognises that sometimes extra support is needed.
"It was important to communicate with my foster care team from Challenge regularly to ensure that I was supporting the children in my care the best way possible," Jeannette says.
Many children and young people needing out-of-home care have never experienced a safe home environment or consistent care. Quietly dedicating themselves to nurturing others, foster carers such as Jeannette are making a real difference to the lives of children and young people in crisis.
According to latest data from the Australian Institute of Family Studies showed there were 47,915 Australian children living in out-of-home care.
Furthermore, the number of children living in such care has risen in the past five years.
Foster Care Week is a call-to-action: would you be the one to turn a child or young person's life around?
To find out more contact Challenge Community Services on 1800 084 954.
*Names have been changed and models used to protect privacy of those concerned.