Are you thinking about fostering?
The county council says why not take the first step to making it a reality by dropping in to Haywards Heath later this month to find out more about what being a foster carer involves?
An all-day drop-in event is being held on Tuesday, April 15, from 10am to 4pm, at Haywards Heath Library, Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BN.
It will give people a chance to speak to members of West Sussex County Council’s fostering team and ask questions about fostering.
Elaine and her husband, from the Mid Sussex area, have been foster carers for more than four years.
She said: “My advice to anyone who wants to foster is to go for it. Take the first step, make up your mind to enjoy it and the difference you can make to a child’s life.
“We foster older children, between 8 and 16, in long-term placements and it is one of the most fulfilling things I have done.
“With this age group, they have often been through a lot of upheaval in their lives and probably feel like they have no control over their lives.
“It is challenging and it does bring some issues, which we manage when they arise – but when you see how much they can grow by just having that sense of feeling settled and belonging, it is very rewarding.”
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, added: “Foster carers make an enormous different to the lives of vulnerable children or young people.
“They provide a safe and loving home, with support and stability, at a time when the child needs it most.
“It is incredibly worthwhile, but making the decision to become a foster carer isn’t something to be taken lightly – and that’s why we regularly hold information drop-in sessions.
“They provide a great opportunity for people to find out more. No question is too big or too small.”
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.
Foster carers receive a comprehensive support package from the Council, including on-going training and financial allowances to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care.
Find out more about fostering at www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering or call 0330 222 7775.