East Sussex County Council’s fostering service is using Care Day on February 15 to encourage families and individuals to consider giving a loving home to a child in need.
With the authority always looking for people to help care for children in its care, it hopes to show people the difference they can make by becoming a foster carer or a supported lodgings provider.
Terri and Anne are friends who share responsibility for fostering at their Eastbourne home after transferring from an independent fostering agency to East Sussex.
“I think the best bits about fostering are seeing some progress in the child,” said Anne. “From probably being an angry little person, to settling down and progressing through school, and having a good outcome.
“We had a little boy who was very angry at being in care and he actually came to see us and he was at university and he’s done extremely well. “
Terri added: “He actually said to us that the best thing that ever happened to him was coming into care. You don’t expect a pat on the back from anybody, but that was a lovely thought that he came back and told us that.
“How would we feel if we were suddenly thrust into a home; we didn’t know what they were like, we didn’t know what their home was like, we didn’t know what they ate. If you can put yourself in the child’s position it helps.”
The friends say transferring from an agency to East Sussex has enabled them to help more children, and they praised the training and support they receive from the local authority.
Anyone interested in finding out more can call 01323 464129 or text FOSTER to talk to a member of the team about fostering, or call 01424 726155 or text SUPPORT to 80011 to talk about supported lodgings.
Alternatively speak face to face with a team member by visiting the fostering and supported lodgings information van. A timetable of stops, and more information about becoming a carer, can be found at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/fostering and www.eastsussex.gov.uk/supportedlodgings