Sharon De Haas: Foster Carer

My children now realise life isn't just a bed of roses: Revesby carer.

Sharon De Haas has been a regular foster carer with Barnardos and is encouraging others in Canterbury Bankstown to volunteer, saying it is well worth it.

Revesby mum Sharon De Haas says looking other people's children for short periods is a very precious experience, which is why she wants others in Canterbury Bankstown to become foster carers with Barnados.

This is her story:

I’ve been a foster carer with Barnardos for 10 years and I’m a short term carer.

The case workers are amazing, they’re there to support you at any beck and call that you have.

I’ve had them turn up at my house and they’re folding laundry with me, they are really good at what they do and they’re extremely supportive.

It’s been quite educational for my children. They now realise that life isn’t just a bed of roses, that there are hard times out there and families do face difficult times.

I do it because I love it, I just love working with the families and working with the little kids.

It’s really nice to see the family have that break, as they may not see it as a break at the time, they are getting their stuff together while you’re helping them with their child.

Every child brings a new personality into the world and a new challenge and that’s what I enjoy the most.

When you see them later on, well one in particular that you had for two years and then to see her now when she’s seven and she’s just a beautiful little girl.

She is so in love with her mum and she has an amazing life, it’s nice to know that you had a part of that.

PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT I DO

I think everyone’s got it in them, I’m certainly not amazing, I’m just compassionate and passionate about what I do and to be their advocate.

It’s sad to let them go, it is really sad when you have spent so much time and you just love them.

But it’s really nice to see them go on and have the life that they so rightly deserve.

My thought process in all of it is that, they’re not my children, I didn’t give birth to them, they have a family.

But they’re mine to love and nurture until that end date and whenever that end date is.

You meet a family or an adoptive parent that comes into it and it’s just beautiful so there’s no way you could stand in the way and anyone can let go of them, I think when you see what they’ve got as a future.

It’s not that hard to let go.

■ Sharon De Haas, 48, lives in Revesby and is one of the local foster carers for Barnardos.

■ Barnardos urgently needs more foster carers in the Canterbury and Bankstown areas and will provide training, allowance and 24-hour support.

■ Details: 1800 663 441

(This article first appeared in the The Express)

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