Appeal for East Grinstead foster carers

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THE SEARCH is on for potential foster carers from East Grinstead and the surrounding area.

Foster Care Fortnight runs this year from Monday May 14 to Sunday May 27.

West Sussex County Council is using the national campaign to highlight the need for more foster carers to come forward and give security and stability to children in care.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families Peter Evans said: “We have a need for foster carers from East Grinstead and the surrounding area. We aim to try and place children with foster carers in their local area so they can continue to stay close to their school, friends, people and places they know.

“We’re always on the lookout for new foster carers to come forward from across the county.”

Jane and Peter Dunn, from the East Grinstead area, have been foster carers for one year. They applied to the County Council after being encouraged by friends who were also foster carers.

They said: “Our children were growing up and we had more time on our hands. Applying to become a foster carer is an intense process and you learn a lot about yourself. We get a lot of support from our Family Placement Social Worker and from the training available.

“We get a lot of enjoyment from being foster carers. You can see the results of the hard work you put in as the children settle in and grow more confident. You get to understand what will help them and improve their lives.

“Being a foster carer helps families that, for different reasons, have gone into crisis. It gives them breathing space and allows time to reassess what help is needed to bring a family back together.”

Foster carers come from all walks of life and from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. People from a variety of backgrounds can apply to foster, regardless of their marital status or sexuality.

Fostering can be either short or long-term and can range from just a few days to several years. There are also several types of fostering.

The county council provides a comprehensive support package for foster carers including ongoing training and support, and financial allowances to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care.

Informal fostering drop-in sessions are being held across West Sussex this year for anyone interested in finding out more. For further information visit the website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering or call 01403 229333.