National | Hamilton

Former foster child now cares for others

Former foster child Dorah Farrow and her husband Darren now provide care for young men in Hamilton who have had tough upbringings.

Dorah was a charge of Billie Galloway, the caregiver Te Ao Māori News followed earlier this week, who has spent over 60 years caring for more than 3,000 children across Auckland.

In the 1980s,  Dorah was in Galloway's care for a year.  It was Galloway's example which inspired her to pursue a career as a caregiver.

It's non-stop in the Farrow household, but it's the kind of chaos they prefer.

"We're in a home where we have the maximum of six boys who are totally different from each other so it's trying to run a home and cater for all the boys and their individual needs.  It can get quite tiring," Dorah says.

140 young men have come through their doors in the past four years. Some of whom get dropped off at all hours of the day and night.

"There's so many mental health [issues] that young people are going through these days that we're trying to understand it with them and help them through their mental health so that they can be normal as possible and go to school and be stable within a school environment," says Darren.

It's a rewarding feeling for the couple and in particular Dorah, who's walked in the shoes of those whom she now cares for.

"Knowing that I had been through these homes myself, I've always wanted to come back and do something like this and give back.  For me it only took one person to change."

Seeing the young men leave their home is always hard, but the couple strive to maintain a life-long relationship with them.

“We don’t really discourage the attachment because we keep the attachment going through life.  The door’s always open and the phone is always there, so we’re always in their life no matter what.”    The couple are adamant that they want to continue to help those most in need.