Foster Care Fortnight is an annual campaign from The Fostering Network to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering and to celebrate the fostering community, the theme is #WhyWeCare.
The Fostering Network wants the whole fostering community, from foster carers to fostering services and care experienced children and young people, from fundraisers to campaigners, and everyone in between who cares about the lives of children in care to step up and tell the world #WhyWeCare.
Charity Diagrama is delighted to be part of Foster Care Fortnight and is 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.”
Margaret Gardiner, Fostering and Adoption Team Manager, Diagrama, said “One of the side effects of the pandemic is that Diagrama is receiving more referrals than ever for children needing safe and secure placements. We need to increase the number of children we can support and are looking to train new foster carers across London and the south east to help with this demand. If you are interested in finding out if fostering might be the right career choice for you, please do contact us or sign up for an online information event.”
To find out if fostering might be the career for you, join a Diagrama online information event by visiting www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fostering-information-evenings-tickets-127705559767?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch
The Diagrama fostering team would love to hear from you. Call them on 0800 802 1910, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.diagramafostering.org.uk
About Foster Care Fortnight
Foster Care Fortnight is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
The 2021 campaign theme is #WhyWeCare. This theme was decided upon through consulting with foster carers and care experienced children and young people from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
About Diagrama Fostering
Diagrama Fostering is an independent, not-for-profit fostering agency. The Diagrama foster carers provide a supportive environment for “looked after” children across south London, Surrey, East and West Sussex, Berkshire, Kent, and Hampshire.
The Diagrama agency is small enough to offer a personalised fostering experience while benefitting from the expertise and security that comes with being part of the larger Diagrama charitable foundation. www.diagramafoundation.org.uk
Diagrama works with many local authorities and gives their carers access to a wide and varied range of children in need of care.