The experience of being a special guardian inspired Sharday to consider fostering. She is already a mum to four children, now aged 16, 10, 5 and 3. Sharday explains: “I was going to wait until my youngest was five before fostering, but a friend encouraged me to start the application process sooner rather than later. So, just over a year ago, I set the wheels in motion and applied to become a foster carer. My children’s needs had to come first however, so I decided not to foster a teenager at first.”

Sharday’s inspiration was her mother and a friend’s mother who had both fostered when she was growing up. She comments: “The biggest thing I have learnt from my placements is to empathise with them, you need to always be mindful of their background and experiences and accept that they will behave differently because of that sometimes.”

Her first placement was an 18-month-old girl who came as a respite placement and is now back with her birth mother. Following that, a boy aged nine came into their family, the placement was originally supposed to be for 10 months, but it is now possible he will be with Sharday and her family long term. “He’s part of the family and hard not to think of him as our own, he has fitted in so well,” adds Sharday.

Advice for anyone considering fostering

Sharday comments: “When you’re training and going through the fostering process you need to be very honest about the type of child you’re prepared to take on. Don’t feel pressured to take anyone. I said no to quite a few placements, because I had to think of my children first.”

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer call us on 020 8313 3304.

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