Could you provide a warm and loving home for some of the most vulnerable children in West Sussex? Could you become a foster carer? Foster Care Fortnight, the annual campaign run by the Fostering Network to highlight the need for more foster carers, takes place this year from Monday 13 to Sunday 26 May.
West Sussex County Council runs monthly fostering drop-in sessions across the county, which are an ideal chance for anyone interested in finding out more about fostering to come along to. You can speak to officers from the fostering team, and some drop-in sessions have foster carers present so you can speak to them directly and find out more about what being a foster carer is like.
Foster homes offer children a stable family environment while their own parents are unable to look after them. Could you help in providing this vital role? There are many reasons why a child comes into foster care. Their stay with foster carers could be short-term until they can return to their parents, or it might need to be longer term.
The County Council tries to 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. This means the Council is always on the lookout for new foster carers to come forward from across West Sussex.
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. What is important is skills such as a good sense of humour, patience, energy and the ability to treat children and young people as individuals.
Foster carers receive a comprehensive support package from the County Council, including on-going training and financial allowances to meet the needs of the children in their care.
Are you interested and would you like to find out more? You can visit the website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering for further information and details of all the drop-in sessions, or call 01403 229333.
Fostering drop-in sessions run from 10am to 4pm. The sessions taking place in West Sussex in 2013 are:
• Saturday 18 May, Worthing Library, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HD.
• Wednesday 22 May, Horsham Library, Lower Tanbridge Way, Horsham, RH12 1PJ.
• Wednesday 19 June, Burgess Hill Library, The Martlets, Burgess Hill, RH15 9NN.
• Tuesday 9 July, Chichester Library, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QJ.
• Friday 16 August, Shoreham Library, St Mary’s Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5ZA.
• Tuesday 17 September, Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6HG.
• Tuesday 8 October, Worthing Library, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HD.
• Tuesday 12 November, Haywards Heath Library, 34 Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BN.
• Tuesday 3 December, Bognor Regis Library, London Road, Bognor Regis, PO21 1DE.