John and Sue Price

Normal is not a word you would use to describe the Price family. In fact, John and Sue Price relish that their family has never been normal.

The couple, who have two children of their own, have been fostering children from around the Northern Territory for over 10 years.

The Price family have cared for so many children they have almost lost count – but they never forget their face.

“We have kept photos of all of the children we have looked after over the past 10 years,” Sue said. “Whether they have gone home or gone to other carers or a long term placement, you have a feeling that you have been a positive part of that journey.”

The Price family look after children who have been abused, neglected or are in crisis by providing short term, emergency and respite care. 

John says being foster carers is a decision the whole family takes part in, with their ‘birth’ children also welcoming and supporting children who come into their home.

For Sue it had been a life-long dream to foster children, and it became a reality after meeting John in Katherine in 1997, where Sue worked as a teacher and John was in the air force.

The couple moved up to Darwin to start growing their family. They had their daughter through IVF, but after two natural miscarriages the couple brought their fostering plans forward.

“I needed something different to obsess over and I thought if we have any more birth children, that is great, but if we don’t, we’ll enjoy having our foster kids,” Sue said. 

Just after finalising their registration to become foster carers, Sue fell pregnant naturally with their son Lachlan. 

And they have never looked back.

Almost every week the Price family open their home and arms to children who need a roof over their heads in emergency situations or to give other foster carers some much needed respite.

“These kids are the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable and someone has to care for them, someone has to love them, someone has to support and be there to help them grow up into healthy caring adults,” Sue said. “We are often the first people these children see and it is exciting to see them relax and flourish.”

The couple look after Indigenous and non-Indigenous children from birth to 10 years.

“We prefer children younger than our birth children because we want our children to be the role model to them,” John said. “It has helped us grow in a lot of ways and we like to think that all our interactions have some sort of positive impact on their lives.”

John said being a foster carer brings a huge amount of satisfaction to their lives. 

“You become attached no matter what, you have invited another human being into your house so you can’t not become attached,” he said. “No matter what background these kids come from they are the future of the Northern Territory. Being a foster carer is part of looking after our future.”

Sue, who has now been a mother to dozens of children, sums it up best. “It is not hard, but it is not easy – it is just the most rewarding thing you will ever be part of,” she said.