How two people changed the lives of 75 children – and counting

Image of couple Carolyn and David Stedman

Forty years ago, Carolyn heard a call out on the radio for foster carers.

Since that moment, Carolyn and her husband David have cared for 75 children – as well as raising six biological children and supporting 26 grandchildren.

And they’re still going strong.

Carolyn and David are currently emergency and short-term carers for Wesley Dalmar. They might get a call to take in a newborn the same day. They might care for a child for just five or six days – or for years.

“How do you love someone a little bit?” Carolyn says. “For me, it’s all or nothing.”

The children they look after are mostly babies and toddlers.

“It’s about giving them a chance in the first couple years of their life to know what love is all about, and stability,” says David.

“The couple of years or the time we’ve got with them, just to give them that little bit of stability and love. We feel that it’s well worth it.”

A rewarding job

The couple were recently awarded an Order of Australia and were recognised nationally on the 2022 Queens Birthday Honours List for their immense generosity, sacrifice, devotion, humility and ability to continually love and care for so many young children.

Now in their 70s, people around them keep asking when they’ll retire from foster caring. Carolyn’s response befits her life-long calling.

“I say, ‘What does the Bible say about retirement? Absolutely nothing. So, you just keep using the gifts that you’ve been given, until you can’t.’”

Thank you for supporting foster carers like Carolyn and David through your gifts to Wesley Mission. Your generosity is invaluable in helping us recruit, train and support foster carers in their crucial and challenging work.

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