Advice event for potential foster carers

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HAVE you ever thought about helping a child in need? If so, East Sussex County Council wants to hear from you.

The county council will be at a new community event in Eastbourne later this month to publicise the different ways in which potential carers can help by offering a child in need a loving home.

Staff from the council fostering service will be at the Spring Fiesta event on the Western Lawns in Eastbourne on May 28-29.

They will provide information to residents about fostering either short term or permanent and what the process involves.

They’ll also be able to provide information about different types of caring including supported lodgings and short breaks for disabled children.

Cllr David Elkin, the lead member for children’s and adults’ services, said, “Our aim is to provide more information about what is involved in offering a child in need a loving and secure home.

“I’m sure a lot of people would like to help but don’t know about the range of options available. For instance, in some cases it might just be a few hours of help a week.”

He added that while the council was particularly looking to recruit experienced foster carers, anyone interested in finding out more would be warmly welcomed.

“The fact is foster carers come from all walks of life and from all kinds of backgrounds.

“The one thing they all have in common is a genuine desire to make a difference to a young person’s life.”

This was rarely an easy task, however, and potential carers need to be aware of the challenge, Cllr Elkin said.

“When a child is placed in care by the courts, whether temporary or permanent, it will be because they’ve had a tough time in life.

“They may be victim of abuse or neglect, or have been caught up in some kind of family crisis.

“That means, of course, the challenges can be huge. However, I know from speaking to our existing carers that the rewards can also be immense.”

Every year, the county council places a number of children and teenagers, who cannot live with their birth families for a variety of reasons, with foster carers or adoptive parents.

These children come from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds and vary in age from babies to teenagers so the county council need foster carers who reflect the whole social and ethnic mix of East Sussex.