Three generations of adult foster carers from Handcross had their dedication recognised at a reception yesterday (Wednesday).
Ron Eggleton and his wife Jean from Handcross were one of the first couples to be involved with the scheme in 1984 and today their daughter, grandson, granddaughter and their families all care for vulnerable adults through the West Sussex County Council Shared Lives Plus scheme.
It provides for 115 vulnerable adults with a range of difficulties who live in family homes meaning they can experience living within a community setting instead of a in care home.
Ron’s daughter Lorraine carried on the family tradition. Her husband Reg said: “Dad started it around 30 years ago. Mum used to work at Forest Hospital in Horsham. A couple of guys came round for the weekend and they didn’t want to go home. That’s how it started.”
Since then, Reg and Lorraine’s son Chris and daughter Samantha, both of Handcross, have opened their homes to vulnerable adults as has Reg’s brother-in-law Michael.
Reg, who was previously in engineering, said: “We all think this is a great scheme because it offers very vulnerable people the chance of having as normal a life as possible with support. I don’t think any of us could imagine doing anything else now.”
Now the county council wants to develop services to older people, vulnerable mothers and babies and young offenders. Carers come from a range of backgrounds and do not need previous experience in social care. They all receive full training once they have been assessed and approved as a Shared Lives carer to provide either short or long-term placements in the family home.
People interested in becoming a carer can call 01444 254463 or email email@example.com for more information.