Foster carers help vulnerable children and young people at a time when they most need it.
As part of Foster Care Fortnight, West Sussex County Council is highlighting the need for more foster carers to come forward to provide safe and loving homes to children.
Foster Care Fortnight is a national campaign - which runs from Monday, May 12 until Sunday, May 25 – and aims to raise the profile of foster care as well as encourage people to find out more about being a foster carer.
There are several types of fostering available, and currently there is a particular need in West Sussex for carers who can look after older children - including teenagers - and sibling groups.
The County Council is also looking for people who would be interested in parent and child placements, which sees vulnerable parents and children placed with a foster carer who will provide support and advice.
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “The theme of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is ‘Guess Who Fosters?’ and the simple answer is anyone.
“People from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds can apply to foster, regardless of marital status or sexuality.
“We need people who are patient, energetic and tolerant with a good sense of humour and the ability to treat children and young people as individuals.
“There are a lot of different reasons why a child may need to spend time in our care – but the one thing they have in common is the need for security and stability.
“That’s why our foster carers are so important and the work that they do can never be underestimated.
“To help our carers, we make sure they receive regular training and support - and that continues throughout their time as a foster carer with the County Council.”
Two informal drop-in sessions will be taking place during Foster Care Fortnight - at Crawley Library on Saturday 17 May and at Shoreham Library on Thursday 22 May, both from 10am to 4pm, for anyone who would like to find out more.
Members of the Fostering Recruitment Team will be on hand to answer questions and to provide information about what being a foster carer entails.
If you are interested in fostering and would like to find out more, please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering for further information or call 0330 222 7775.