Foster Carer Sharon Lovelock encourages others to foster during Foster Care Fortnight

Foster Care Fortnight 10th - 23rd May is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering

The pandemic has seen a surge in the need for foster carers and during Foster Care Fortnight we are encouraging people who may like to explore the idea of fostering to think about contacting them to find out more about this rewarding career.

Sharon Lovelock and her husband Richard, from Tonbridge, have recently become foster carers for Diagrama. Sharon is a Methodist Minister, and her husband was a teaching assistant and is now the main carer for their foster child. The Lovelocks are sharing their family’s story to urge others to think about exploring the idea of fostering.

Sharon Lovelock, said, “We had so many questions when we first began to explore fostering, especially how it might impact our family and particularly our birth children, a son 18 and a daughter 15 but Diagrama was so supportive at every step of the way, answering our questions and preparing us for each phase.

“The process and training cemented in our minds that this was what we were feeling called to do and we were accepted as approved carers in March 2020 just as lockdown hit the nation. It was not long after that we were contacted about a young child in need, who was unable to stay in his current placement due to the Coronavirus. Although we realised this was an urgent call, we were in no way rushed and have always been assured of support whenever we have needed it from Diagrama.

“The day for the child to move in arrived! We were excited and nervous at the same time, yet I have to say it has always felt as if they are part of this family. We sought to welcome them and to take it a day (or hour!) at a time to see how we would connect and how the placement might suit them. Support from their social work team and Diagrama has meant we have never felt left on our own- someone is always at the end of a phone; there are support groups and supervision which have proved invaluable.

“The past year has been full of challenges as we weren’t able to go swimming or to the beach or any of the outings, we thought we would plan to do however we have helped the child to settle into a new school, get to know the neighbours and the community where we live and to get to know us. I would say it’s challenging but not overpowering. And when at times it does feel relentless, we go back to the basics of why we offered to foster in the first place!

“To have opened our home to offer love and care to a child who has experienced trauma is something we feel we can do to try and make a difference where it is needed.  There are bumps along the road, yet we keep going, and the relationships are becoming stronger, and our foster child is developing well at home and at school.

“If you are considering fostering, I would say go for it! Diagrama with all their experience and professionalism, as well as friendliness, will help you establish if it’s a good fit for you in your life.”

To find out if fostering might be the career for you, join one of our Fostering Information evenings by visiting   www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fostering-information-evenings-tickets-127705559767?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

We would love to hear from you, call 0800 802 1910, email fostering@digrama.org