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Time flies; 15 years of fostering - Sharon

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Sharon's Story

The reason I become a foster carer is because I love working with children and then oneday I thought it would be nice to help children by giving them a home where they can feel safe, loved cared for also my son would have someone to play with. I had been already working for the previous agency since 2007. This was subsequently taken over by Nexus and I have been working with them to date.

Was the process what you thought it would be?

Yes the process was good and clear also the journey to fostering and training was great. We was told in training to treat the child like part of our family. My understanding was that the child or young person is to be part of my family also there may be some challengesthat could arise which I thought I would be able to handle. I think I was well prepared to foster. It is not until the child or young person comes along then your life changes; it is much like having new baby joining the family. I enjoyed the varied experiences of trying to care, nurture, love and being mindful of the background of the children.I felt fully supported throughout my journey to becoming a foster carer. At present I receive regular update training/supervision and support from Nexus.

We appreciate fostering can be challenging and rewarding. Can you share some the highs and lows of your carer journey?

Fostering for me, the challenge was taking the young person out and they had fun and when they came home then they might be unsettled also they may want to destroy their things.

What I find rewarding is when the child or young person first comes into my home they may feel unsettled but after a while they begin to become accustomed to their surroundings and a new routine within the home, you then begin to see them flourish, smiling, growing and achieving.

The ultimate reward is to have the child safely reunited with their parents after working jointly with both child and parent and social workers to achieve this aim. I am currently in regular contact with families that have been and still are reunited.

Can you talk us through the placements you have had and what’s the key to your positive outcomes?

At present since 2020, I am caring for a 12 year old boy with Down’s syndrome and other multiple medical needs and he has really been developing well.  When he came to me at 10 years old he was still wearing nappies day and night and had very limited speech.  He has been attending his special needs school which he has attended since he was 5 and both his school and social workers have given positive feedback on the improvement of his appearance, social skills, his speech progression, and the fact he is no longer in nappies since he has been under my care. He always has a smile on his face and is usually happy and helpful at school with other pupils and teachers.  He is praised when he has good days and on not so good days, he is given encouragement to try and do better.  He is an accepted family member and loved by my family and friends.

On the whole; his health professionals, teachers and social workers are very happy with his continued progress.  It hasn’t always been easy but it is worthwhile to know what he has achieved and gives me hope that he can have a better future.  With a lot of patience, understanding, perseverance and love he should be able to achieve much more. He is a pleasure to care for and makes my role as a foster carer very rewarding.

What do you think makes a great foster carer?

Someone who can show unconditional love, be a good listener, not judgmental. Child focused and open minded to learning new and different culture and ways of life of the child. Give a child or young person a chance and a home. You can make a big difference in their life. It is not easy work, but it can be very rewarding to see the positive growth and development of the child.


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Date published

05 June 2023

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