Sharon's fostering story
When Sharon's daughter was born, her priorities changed, and she made the decision to leave her job as manager of a recruitment company to stay at home and raise her daughter. When her daughter was older, Sharon decided to look into fostering - and she has never looked back.
"Being a foster carer has allowed me to take and collect my daughter from school every day, spend all the school holidays with her and attend all her assemblies - something I could never have done in my previous career."
Sharon is approved to foster two children, aged from birth to 7. She provides a safe, secure and nurturing home to a child who is unable to live with their parents or other family members.
"I have seen children grow and develop their confidence and social skills while in my care. Seeing the child evolve is the most rewarding part of the job. Letting them go is the hardest part for everyone."
Sharon feels very fortunate as she says her daughter supports her work as a foster carer, understanding that fostering involves the family as a whole.
"We are a double act - without her I don't think it would work as well. She puts the children at ease, shows them her toys and plays nicely with them. She understands that I do the mummy job for all the children whose mummies can't - either until they can be returned home or until we find them a new forever family."
Sharon additionally feels supported by the council. She works closely with her supervising social worker and is further supported by Hillingdon's Multi-Agency Psychology Service, who work directly with looked after children and foster carers.
Sharon wants to champion fostering for Hillingdon and encourages anyone thinking about it to take the plunge and find out more.
"These children need people like you, whether it be a balanced routine and structure or love and security, the small things are as important as the big. No two children are the same and they will all come with their challenges, but the rewards far outweigh these."
Could you be a foster carer like Sharon?