CareSouth carers recognised for their contribution to foster care in NSW

Congratulations to CareSouth carers Michelle and Marcus Duffy! The Nowra carers have won the My Forever Family Carer Recognition Award in Regional and Remote Care for 2022.

The annual award recognises the valuable role the Duffy’s play in the lives of the children and young people in their care. Michelle and Marcus were nominated by Julie, their CareSouth carer recruitment caseworker. 

The Duffy’s have been carers of twin boys for five years and their older sibling for three years. They also have a nine-year-old son. The twins’ placement was initially for three months with caseworkers exploring restoration options with family.  

“Michelle and Marcus took on the care of the twins when they were four months old,” said Julie. “It was a restorative placement but as the children grew it became obvious that they were not progressing as expected. They were eventually diagnosed as having global developmental delays and Level 3 Autism.”

Three months became nine months, then a year. Now the boys and their sister are in long-term care with Michelle, Marcus and their son.




“My family fostered children when I was growing up,” said Michelle. “Marcus and I had talked about fostering when we first got together. Then I fell pregnant, and we moved overseas. When we came home, and our son was a bit older we were finally in a position where we could do it. The twins were our first kids in care, and they are still with us, and now their older sister is too.”

“It was a bit of a blur having to get back into baby mode and set up two of everything,” recalled Marcus. “But we learned to be fairly flexible, fairly quickly.”

One of the twins is non-verbal so, each night at the dinner table, Michelle and Marcus and all the children will learn a new word in sign language so they can all communicate with each other.

“I didn’t think at this time in my life I’d be learning Auslan,” said Marcus.

“It has been a steep learning curve, having kids with disabilities,” said Michelle. “We have had to learn so much and there have been some challenges, but we have adapted. We can’t go to cafes or on holidays because the change in routine is just too much. Going to the park is not an easy journey for us.”

The carers decided to “focus on their house and make it the best resort we can for the whole family” with a giant sandpit and play area in the backyard.

“Michelle and Marcus have displayed absolute commitment to these children with high needs,” said Julie. “They have renovated their home numerous times to meet the needs of the children. They keep the children connected to their family and balance the needs of all three children as well as their own child. The demands have been enormous and have come with huge changes for them personally as well as to their family life however they continue to be committed to this sibling group.”

CareSouth congratulates Michelle and Marcus Duffy on their well-deserved recognition. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to children in need; your positive influence is helping them build a better future.

To learn more about becoming a foster carer, contact us today on 1300 554 260.