A career in catering – prepping, cooking, and delivering delicious food to customers of all kinds – and being a mother to son, Tyreece (15), was a great grounding for Samantha Mangan, who now serves up loving support and parenting skills as foster mum to four treasured children.
“There are kids out there who need a loving, supportive home and I can provide that. It’s great. It’s awesome,” says Samantha, who has been a foster mum for three years now.
“Opening your heart and your home is the most rewarding job,” she says.
Samantha loves her mothering role and seeing kids who have come from challenging backgrounds coming along in leaps and bounds. Side by side with her son Tyreece, these kids respond so well to Samantha’s warmth and positivity.
“Of course it was a big adjustment becoming a foster mum, but to see the smiles on my kids’ faces, and seeing them blossom – seeing the kids move forward, it’s a big thing for us.”
A child in her care recently transitioned from a special education class into a mainstream school.
“He’s come so far and recently won a major award at school – it’s just so satisfying to see.”
Love grows from love
Family has been a constant source of support for Samantha, something she loves passing forward.
“I’ve always had love and support and a very close family with mum and my two older sisters,” Samantha says. “Love is all we have.”
“Before the children arrived I used to live with mum. Now I have a house of my own, but I still see mum every day. On Mother’s Day we’ll be either here at home, at one of my sister’s, or at Mum’s place.”
“We have a big family thing now. It’s beautiful. My mum is so proud of me and she tells me every day with words and actions. Mum taught me that if you love and support your children they’ll give it back to you in spades.”
Samantha chose Warners Bay for her Mother’s Day photo.
“I grew up in Warners Bay and we’re often out and about there. It was a real opportunity to share this beautiful place with my cherished family.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.