LETTER: Safe and loving homes for young

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Foster Care Fortnight runs this year from Monday May 13 to Sunday May 26.

West Sussex County Council needs to recruit more foster carers countywide, to help give some of our most vulnerable children a safe, secure, and loving family environment.

The theme this year for Foster Care Fortnight is ‘in the frame’ and we’re looking for people who are interested in becoming foster carers to put themselves in the frame and speak to us if they would like to find out more.

Fostering makes a huge and positive difference to the lives of so many children and young people. It is also a highly rewarding experience for our foster carers.

Some of your readers may have thought about fostering but might not know how to start. Others may have concerns that might prove unfounded once they are given the information they need.

Children come into care for a number of reasons including family difficulties or because they have been abused or neglected. Fostering can be both short or long term and can range from just a few days to several years.

We try our utmost to keep our looked after children in their local area so they’re close to their friends, school, people and places they know.

That’s why we’re keen for 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. You can apply to foster regardless of your marital status or sexuality.

We need people to be good parents, who are patient, energetic, with a good sense of humour and who will treat children and young people as individuals, whilst being able to maintain boundaries and provide the security our children need.

We make sure our carers receive all the training and support they need, and that’s on-going for as long as people are foster carers with us.

We are holding two informal drop-in sessions during Foster Care Fortnight at Worthing Library on Saturday May 18 and at Horsham Library on Wednesday May 22, both from 10am to 4pm, where there will be the chance to ask questions to existing foster carers and our recruitment team.

I would strongly urge any of your readers who have thought about fostering to get in touch with us by calling 01403 229333 or visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering.

They could make a big difference to the children in need of care and at the same time enrich their own lives.

STUART GALLIMORE

West Sussex County Council Director of Children’s Services, County Hall, Chichester