Council appeals for more foster carers

Residents with compassion and patience are being encouraged to consider a rewarding career by becoming a foster carer .

As part of Foster Care Fortnight East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has arranged events to help people find out more about offering support to youngsters in need. Events began on May 13 and run until 26.

During Foster Care Fortnight events will give potential carers a chance to find out more about the role.

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On May 18, between 11am and 2pm, ESSC will host a joint event with Adoption in Uckfield.

On Tuesday, May 21, between 9am and 5pm, social workers and foster carers will be available at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre in Hastings to chat to anyone interested in fostering for East Sussex County Council.

Anita Butler, a foster carer who has recently transferred from an agency to foster with ESCC, said fostering was immensely rewarding.

She said: “You can have difficult days. Many children who come into care find it difficult to trust and have confidence in the adults around them. As a carer you help promote self confidence by sharing your life, home and providing opportunities and experiences that hopefully enable each child to reach their full potential.”

Anita and husband Kevin began fostering with an agency in 1999 after moving with their two children to live in East Sussex. Last year they made the decision to transfer to continue fostering for the Local Authority as they had become aware that East Sussex County Council use their own foster carers first and Anita and Kevin felt they wanted to work with younger children.

Anita and Kevin speak positively about the transfer process and commented on the support that has been available to them since their approval.

Mrs Butler added: “You have so much support from the local authority. It’s not like you are left on your own to deal with things, there is always someone there to help, 24 hours a day.

“But you have to go in with your eyes open; there are some very difficult times but being a foster carer is amazingly rewarding.

“We always knew we wanted to be carers and as a family we enjoy working together. As our own children have said, it’s good to be able to give others the same opportunities they have had and share their lives in a positive way.”

Anita and Kevin decided very early on that, after having their own family, they wanted to help other children by becoming foster carers. Since they started they have looked after more than 20 children, some for a weekend, others for months and years.

Anita is encouraging anyone who is passionate about providing support for children and young people to go along to one of East Sussex County Council events and discuss the possibility of becoming a foster carer.

Foster carers can be couples, single people, people who have raised their own families or are still in the process of bringing up their own children. The common factor is having space in your home and your heart for children that need care.