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South Australian disability worker and adventurer, Kimberley Hobbs (b. 1990), was in foster care from the age of two.

Kimberley’s birth mother was unable to care for the child. After one less than successful placement, Kimberley moved in with her foster mother, Eunice, in 1993. Eunice was loving, supportive, and encouraging, and she ensued that Kimberley maintained birth family connections.

Eunice also encouraged Kimberley to take up opportunities, all of which developed her confidence. She went on Edmund Rice Camps and Can Teen camps, and in Year 10 was involved in a Spirit of Science trip to London.

Kimberley went straight from school to university and has a Bachelor of Science degree. While challenging – she writes of often feeling alone in this accomplishment as during her study she never met anyone who had been in care – university was also exciting and stimulating and provided more opportunity for Kimberley to travel, this time to Canada for a semester where she studied biology and environmental studies.

Kimberley subsequently went on to earn a Masters in Social Work and then, having obtained a TAFE Certificate III in Individual Support in Disability, began working in the disability sector.

Kimberley has written about the importance of her of having one positive, stable foster care placement:

I know that I am lucky and especially to have had a very positive long-term placement. I acknowledge that many other people who have been foster care have had multiple placements and that a number of those may represent bad moments or years. The trauma and upheaval that has occurred to foster children can impact them for the rest of their life and does so for most foster children. 

My story is but one of many thousands of people who have been in foster care and the experiences vary hugely. Yet we are still all connected and sometimes our stories have similarities. 

It is my belief that as more people able to voice their foster care stories it will help others to find their voice and do the same. That we were foster children does not define who we are but telling our stories may help the next foster child (Hobbs, Part of My Story).
After four years of working in disability, Kimberley has left Australia for a holiday in Vietnam after which she plans to work in Canada for two years. She says:
I’m very excited about my overseas adventure but I also look at it as an opportunity for further personal growth.

References:

Hobbs, Kimberley. “Part of My Story”. In Against the odds: Care leavers at University, edited by Deidre Michell, David Jackson and Casey Tonkin. South Australia: People’s Voice Publishing, 2015.

Hullick, Jennifer. “Forging family bonds.” The Advertiser, 23 August 2018. https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/feature/special-features/forging-family-bonds/news-story/5c71fd76ee074c6e5e0da10ffab918d5