July 08, 2019
Published on Friday 5 April, 2019
Fostering children was always on the radar for the couple and they planned to become foster carers once their own three children were older and had left the family home. Sharon’s career as a childcare teacher added to her passion for helping kids and she was committed to making a real difference in the lives of foster children.
“I was heartbroken to hear stories of children not being cared for. I had the capacity to help and I wanted to make sure these kids had all the necessary things in life — without the struggles,” said Sharon.
Originally a Foster Carer with Family and Community Services (FACS), Sharon transitioned to be a carer with Lifestyle Solutions and has been fostering children for over ten years.
“I feel extremely lucky to be fostering through Lifestyle Solutions. Our Case Worker is really supportive, easy to get along with and quick to respond.”
“When one of our children needed help with counselling, our Case Worker was brilliant and quickly found services available for us,” said Sharon.
Sharon initially fostered children in need of respite care and short-term emergency care but chose to foster children in need of long-term care. Sharon now fosters four boys aged two, seven, 11 and 13 — three of whom have a disability.
“I chose to foster children who required long-term care as I felt I was able to provide more stability for our family and a greater sense of belonging.”
“We’re lucky to not have faced many challenges. At times it’s hard but we manage our time very efficiently to make all of the kid’s appointments and overall we’ve had a really good run,” said Sharon.
Building strong relationships with the birth families of children in her care was a priority for Sharon who believes there’s always room for carers to strengthen their relationships with birth families.
"We worked really hard and put a lot of time into building strong connections with our children’s birth families.” “We’re now one big family and the benefits for the kids are amazing. We share birthdays together, Christmas, weekends, and the kids have sleepovers at their birth grandparents’ houses.”
“My foster children know where they come from and I think that we face far less issues because of that,” said Sharon.
For Sharon and Steve, they can’t imagine life without having become carers.
“They fill our house with fun, laughter, love and entertainment. We love them and they love us.”
Sharon is now making it her mission to get the word out about how fulfilling fostering a child can be.
“You don’t need to take on four children, just fostering one child will get them into a safe, supportive and loving home.”
“These kids just need a helping hand. Fostering a teen might only mean a few years of your life but for the child it makes the difference of a lifetime,” said Sharon.