Foster families: – “Whether it is biological or not does not matter”


Every year the city thanks them during the foster family brunch for the invaluable work that these people do. The “Krone” was there and discovered why this activity is not only rewarding for the children, but also for the mothers and fathers themselves. This is important because more foster parents are urgently needed.

There are currently 900 foster parents in Vienna, and another 400 with Viennese foster children living in Lower Austria or Burgenland. “Twice as many are needed to meet demand,” says Martina Reichl-Roßbacher, head of the foster children department at MA 11.

Because it is currently mainly children up to the age of three who are housed in families; if you are older, you will end up in a supervised shared apartment. “Our big goal is to let older children grow up in a family environment. The benefits are of course obvious,” emphasizes Johannes Köhler, head of child and youth care.

Guide part of the way
But there are some hurdles foster families face: they must be financially secure, complete coursework and be willing to have contact with the child’s biological family. Not everyone can do that like the R family. “My daughter Sophie was born prematurely. We wanted more biological children, but we didn’t dare,” says Kathrin. That’s why they decided to go this route. And I never regretted it. “Our long-term care child Philipp has been with us for over 6 years. In total, I have already accompanied 13 children part of the way,” says the 36-year-old.

Now, as a crisis foster mother, you only look after children until they have a permanent place: sisters Lena (3) and Luisa (2) currently live with her. Isn’t it difficult when the children leave the house after a while? “For me, it’s about impacting their lives in a positive way over time.” 14-year-old Sophie is a great help, after all it is a job for the whole family.

Children can also stay for a long time
Andreas and Stefan are currently caring for their first foster child, ten-month-old Lukas. With them, there is a good chance that the little one can stay with them for a long time, because the biological mother even skips the monthly meetings.

“We are surprised how great the whole process was,” says Stefan. They would have preferred to decide this earlier. It is important for both of them to give Lukas a sheltered home and pave the way for a sheltered life for him: “Whether he is a biological child or not, it doesn’t matter.”

Contribution to society
Everyone who gives a child a family contributes to society as a whole. Vice Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr (Neos) is convinced of this. A few weeks ago he invited the Viennese foster parents to the annual brunch in the flower gardens of Hirschstetten.

But there are many more children who need a loving, stable home. Three-year-olds still have to be placed in shared apartments or crisis centers (see graph) because there are not enough places. The Child and Youth Welfare Department is currently looking for other people interested in this profession. “There are also different variants, for example for single parents or same-sex couples,” Wiederkehr emphasizes. An employment model has finally been developed for foster parents in crisis that guarantees a regular income.

Children say thank you
“Every foster family we can attract is a success. And on behalf of the children, I would now like to thank you,” says MA-11 leader Johannes Köhler. All information about informal caregivers can be found here.

Source: Krone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this