Goulburn carers Chris Lofts and her husband Ian have welcomed more than 400 children into their home during their time as foster carers. Unfortunately, due to Chris’s recent cancer diagnosis, the Lofts have had to retire from caring to focus on her treatment and recovery.
“Retiring wasn’t on our to do list,” said Chris. “But we did it because of my health. We had to think about what was best for the young man we’ve been caring for, and for me to get through my cancer treatment.”
The young man Chris is referring to has been in the Lofts care since he was nine-weeks old. He is now 14 and will always be a part of their family; however, his high needs require a level of support that Chris and her husband are unable to meet while battling cancer.
“This young man was never removed from his birth family, they just didn’t think they would be able to cope with his disabilities,” said Chris. “We have a very good rapport with his family, and they have come here for visits and are a part of his life, a part of our life. It breaks our heart that we can’t continue caring for him.”
Ian, along with their three adopted daughters and grandchildren convinced Chris to focus on her health while CareSouth worked hard to find a suitable placement for the young man. For the first time in her life Chris was forced to put her needs ahead of others, something that was a foreign concept to her.
“At the moment it’s about my journey that I’m on, and Ian and our family are supporting me through it,” said Chris.
As a way of marking the Lofts’ incredible contribution to improving the lives of children and young people, CareSouth hosted a Biggest Morning Tea to honour Chris and Ian and raise money for a charity that is close to their heart. The Goulburn team will also honour the Lofts by naming a family time room after the couple, who have selflessly cared for so many children and young people during their eight years with CareSouth.
“We were quite honoured that the Goulburn team thought to do that for us,” said Chris. “It is an end of an era, and we miss the children badly, but we still get to see them and hear from them. We had one young fellow pop in with his carer for a visit today, and another one came to see us last week. We still see our young fellow as often as possible and will be celebrating his 15th birthday with him later this year.”
Chris likes to joke that their postie “does not like us at all” at Christmas time due to the constant stream of cards that get delivered from those whose lives they have touched across more than four decades of caring.
“It’s lovely when we get cards or visits from our foster families out of the blue, it’s so good that they still have that connection with us and know that we are family, we are Nanny and Poppy to so many and we always will be.”
To learn more about the heart-warming role of being a foster carer, contact us today on 1300 554 260.