When Kahu and Robin Grace open a Child, Youth and Family home for teenage boys it will be the culmination of a labour of love.
The couple recently moved to Tauranga from Rotorua and would be running a family home in the Avenues for up to six boys aged 10 to 15 who cannot be in their home environments for a variety of reasons.
The first-time carers had been taking part in training programmes since February and said they were ready to start work.
Mrs Grace said helping children in need was something they had always wanted to do and, now their own children had grown up, it was time to pursue their dream.
"We've had children of our own and now have grandchildren. When you see your own family doing all the right things but you don't look outside the square, you don't realise there are a lot of tamariki (children) out there that are struggling or being abused. It makes you think you've got to do something about it."
The couple were not under any illusions that it would be a tough job.
"It's going to be an eye opener for both of us," Mrs Grace said. "This is the first time for us to be parents for other children. We have strategies and plans but we will just bring them up like we brought up our own children. The biggest challenge for me will probably be behaviours."
Mrs Grace said it would also be good for the boys to see the relationship she has with her husband so they know how a functioning, loving relationship works.
The family home was closed at the end of last year and had been renovated.
Mr Grace said it was like moving into a brand new home and he hoped the boys would appreciate it.
"We will need a bit of the right kind of humour and a lot of love because we will be their parents while they stay with us. We want to provide a safe environment, regular meals for them and someone for them to listen to if they want that."
Child, Youth and Family Tauranga care services manager Lynda Little said the organisation relied on caregivers.
Ms Little said the Graces were selected because of their experience raising their own children, the support expressed from their whanau to take up this role, and also a strong commitment to care for children in need.
"It is a challenging role being a family home caregiver but it can be very rewarding. We are always looking for caregivers."
She said CYF were looking at opening another family home in Tauranga later this year.