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When Eddie’s* story came to my attention, I was heartbroken.

At age two, Eddie was placed into foster care. He lived through such a challenging and disruptive start to life. Eddie was neglected, exposed to illicit substances and family violence.

Like many of the children living in foster care, Eddie’s story began with his mother, Kayla*.

Kayla grew up in foster care too. She was exposed to unsafe environments. And, as an inexperienced and unsupported mother at just 19, she found it so hard to make safe choices for her newborn. She was using illegal substances and constantly moving house.

Eddie was exposed to family violence by Kayla’s partner and his grandmother. Kayla tried to connect to helpful services, but she struggled to stay connected long enough to sustain positive changes.

No one really knows what happened during the time when Eddie was living with Kayla. At times she left Eddie with people he didn’t even know.

Can you imagine how terrifying this was for a young child? Your gift today can help children like Eddie receive the specialised care they need.

Eddie was placed with foster carers but the path to healing trauma is never simple.

Eddie didn’t understand his trauma. He struggled to let his new family into his heart. He didn’t know how to accept love.  When he was angry his body would stiffen. Even when he was happy, he didn’t know how to show it. Eddie enjoyed having foster siblings, but he often felt left out because they were able to show their emotions and communicate with adults. Adults couldn’t tell what Eddie was feeling. He began hurting his foster siblings and his placement suddenly broke down.

Thankfully, Eddie’s foster carers found The Circle Program – a local Australian Childhood Foundation program that supports foster parents.

With the support of our specialist therapists, Eddie’s foster family began to understand Eddie’s behaviour. It took a lot of time and patient work. Eddie began to relax and start talking about his experiences and understand his feelings.

Today, at eight, Eddie is settled in with his foster family and is starting to make friends. And sometimes he is able to hang out with his mum. Eddie enjoys seeing Kayla but still feels overwhelmed by her. He continues to receive lots of support from our team.

I am extremely proud of the work being done around the country by our specialist therapy teams to help children like Eddie. It can be gruelling, heartbreaking work at times as we work on some of the most challenging cases.

My hope is that we can count on your support this tax time to help break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

There are so many children like Eddie who need your help now.

Thank you for helping us make a difference to our most vulnerable children and young people.

 

Craig McMillan

National Executive Manager

Australian Childhood Foundation

 

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*Names have been changed to protect the identities of children. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000. For confidential support regarding family violence, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732). To report concerns relating to a child, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.