DO YOU live in Lewes and could you offer a home to a child in care?
The search is on for people in the county town who can provide a child in care with a loving and secure home.
East Sussex County Council has launched a recruitment campaign to find recruits in an area where, strangely, there are currently NO foster carers.
At a special information event at County Hall, potential carers from Lewes will be able find out more about how they might be able to help – with options ranging from offering care for a few hours a week to permanent adoption.
Cllr Meg Stroude, the council’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said: “It’s very strange but we have foster carers all over the county apart from in Lewes town. We’re not sure why that is the case but there’s a real gap in Lewes and one that we need to try to fill.
“We have children from the Lewes area that, for a variety of reasons, have had to be placed with carers outside the town. This obviously makes it much more difficult to maintain links with friends and school etc which are so important.”
Staff from various teams will be on hand at the information event including fostering, adoption, supported lodgings and short breaks teams. In an informal atmosphere anyone interested will be able to find out more about the different options, and what being a carer means.
The event is being held at County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, on Thursday May 19 from 6-9pm.
Cllr Stroude said it was really important the council found some carers in Lewes in order to fill the gap.
“When children are placed in care by the courts, either temporarily or permanently, it can be a very difficult time. These are vulnerable young people who so need a stable, secure and loving family home. With the upheaval this can bring it’s vital we disrupt their lives as little as possible and try to place them with carers where they can still access friends, school and family.”
At the recruitment event staff are hoping to speak to lots of people from Lewes town who feel they might be able to help in some way.
Cllr Stroude added: “Carers come from all walks of life and from all kinds of background. The one thing they have in common, though, is a genuine desire to help children.
“It’s no easy task, however, and being a carer for a child who may be the victim of abuse, neglect or some other family crisis, takes a certain kind of commitment. I know from talking to many of our other carers, however, that the rewards can be immense too.”
Those interested in finding out more about the range of options available, but who cannot attend the event, can visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies/childrenincare