News from Child, Youth and Family - January 2013
New Year Honours for caregiver couple
Diane and David Broderick are causing quite the stir in the local Himatangi post shop. There's been great excitement seeing envelopes come for the couple from the Prime Minister and Government House.
“We were absolute shocked and surprised to receive the honours awards, as there’s a lot of people out there who do what we do,” says Diane. “But we are very excited and humbled by the fact it has been given to us. It is really nice that everyone is so pleased for us, and yes, we are very excited!”
The fact that Diane and David Broderick received Queen’s Service Medals in the recent New Year Honour’s Award is a testament to their hard work and dedication to children in need of loving care, and to their community.
David and Diane have cared for 153 foster children over 33 years, set up a health clinic in Himatangi, run a playgroup for preschoolers and the Girls' Brigade in the beachside village, coached Special Olympics, established the Open Home Foundation in Whanganui and Palmerston North and help run the Manawatu Foster Care Association.
Diane and David, who have three adult children and two grandchildren of their own, began fostering in 1979. Diane’s extensive nursing experience in paediatrics meant the couple have been able to confidently take in sick babies, children affected by drugs and alcohol, and babies with disabilities. While most are only with them for a few months at most, the Brodericks ended up caring for their autistic foster-child David Sullivan, now 19, since he was three months old.
They say the rewards of foster care are constant - from a baby rolling over for the first time, to more recently sharing their David's joy when he recently got his learner licence.
Diane sums up her and husband David’s attitude in her caring, no fuss way: ''We’ve always had such a passion for children, and having our own family helped us recognise other children out there needed our love,'' she says. “Friends are surprised and say all the time, oh you are still doing it? We will know when it is time to give it up and that time hasn’t come yet. It is just part of what we do.”