Signorita came to Australia with her children in 2012 via a refugee camp in Ethiopia. She was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has cared for children most of her adult life.
“I used to take care of kids [in the Congo]” said Signorita.
“We don’t have Child Services there. When a parent would fall ill, I would so the same kind of thing as I’m doing here. Less formal, but like foster care.”
In Australia, Signorita became a foster carer when one of her friends became unwell.
“For me, it happened when a friend was in bad condition,” she said. “We decided as a community to help the child to continue going to school and look after the child’s wellbeing.”
Knowing the family, Signorita and her 19-year-old daughter put their hands up to foster the child, while the mother could spend time in hospital and recover.
Signorita works as a volunteer and is studying Community Development.
What would she tell someone who was thinking of becoming a foster carer? “I would let them know that it’s to help the community and to help the child. To not miss the opportunities.”
“In the first two weeks or one month it’s kind of hard because the child is missing the parent. But once they settle and they are used to you, when they are taking to you like an aunty, you have developed a bond with them and become their extended family when they go back home.”