A Deception Bay foster couple was honoured at the annual Queensland Child Protection Week Awards ceremony on August 30.
Foster carers, Debbie and Steve Haim received the volunteer award for providing care for more than 20 years.
In addition to raising five children of their own, Debbie and Steve have fostered more than 100 children, including those with complex needs.
Debbie says their fostering journey started unexpectedly 24 years ago.
“My husband and I got into fostering when our church, at the time, were going out in their street van serving drinks and food to the community. We advised the church if they came across any child in need, our door was open. We took on a child soon after and we then contacted her family, who supported her staying with us,” Debbie says.
“Soon after the child was reunited with her family, we received a call advising us that we had put our names down for foster carer training. This confused us as we never did that, but instead had put our names down to get advice and support for the child we had taken in. Despite the confusion and after talking with my husband, we decided to give the training a go.”
Being foster carers for more than two decades has had its ups and downs – especially when the Haims housed between eight and 10 children at one stage – but they say the most important part of fostering is knowing they can make a difference in a child’s life.
“With each child we have opened our home to, no matter how long or short it was, it gives us great satisfaction and joy when we know we have been able to make even the smallest difference in that child’s life. Knowing we gave that child as much love, support and guidance as possible is very rewarding,” Debbie says.
Child Safety Minister Craig Crawford says he is grateful for the unrelenting time and effort Debbie and Steve have put in for so many years.
“Debbie and Steve are an amazing couple, truly deserving of this highly respected Child Protection Week Volunteer Award,” Mr Crawford says.
“We are enormously grateful for the minutes, hours, days, months and years they have given to ensure our most vulnerable children are safe.
“While much of what they do is behind the scenes, the award allows us as a community to say thank you to Debbie and Steve and their family for what they do.”
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