Foster stories: One woman’s pathway to foster caring


What’s the story?

A recent article published by ABC Riverina describes one woman’s pathway to foster care, in that foster care is no quickie decision.

Janet Moriarty felt the calling toward foster care when she was just a teenager.

“I didn’t come from a wealthy background, but I came from a very loving home, and I identified that as a teenager, in high school, that other kids out there that don’t have that.” – Janet Moriarty.

Years later, the topic of foster care came up whilst Janet was undergoing a marriage prep course with her then-fiance, Paul, and the two of them committed to the idea of foster care, however, it was another ten years, after they had their own children, before they felt ready to go ahead. Even then, they took it slow – they started by taking in children for short-term care, then emergency care, and then long-term placements.

Today, Janet is calling on the next generation of carers to step up and discuss their capacity to take in a child, even decades in advance, as demand for carers increases. Another thing to consider is the burden that would be shared by the whole family.

“The trauma involved in being removed from their families, it’s just huge … Our eldest had a lot of trouble, because he couldn’t cope with the fact that he had the perfect life, and this other little man had had it so hard … He found it very difficult to cope with the burden that he’d had it so good.” – Janet Moriarty.

Janet Moriarty has some great advice about what makes a good carer, including that there are many types, but one thing that they all shared;

“A good carer is someone who can stand on the outside and look in, and see it from the children’s perspective, and also from the birth parents’ perspective … a good carer needs that belief that every child has the right to be part of a safe family.”

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person


The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:



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