IF YOU are considering fostering it might be worth dropping in to Chichester library to find out more.
The event, on Thursday, June 12, will give information to anyone who is interested in foster care from 10am until 4pm.
Andy and his wife have been fostering for more than five years, looking after a range of children from the age of three to 12 years.
He said: “A friend of ours was a foster carer and when our children left home we thought it was something we’d quite like to do.
“It has been a wonderful experience. It gives you a warm feeling to see a child develop and grow in confidence and to just generally bloom because they are in a safe and stable home.
“It’s the kind of feeling that money just can’t buy and it always seems to come along at just the right time.
“Fostering can be difficult. The children may be challenging, but often the most challenging children bring the greatest rewards when they start to flourish.
“They have been through a lot and have a lot of emotions to cope with, and they will react in different ways but you can get past that. When you do, you realise that’s why you foster.
“Fostering isn’t something you do alone – you get a lot of support from your family placement social worker and the child’s own social worker as well as the fostering network. You get so much advice and support from other foster carers – you’re part of a team.”
There are many kinds of fostering, from short term to long term placements for children and young people across all age ranges.
West Sussex County Council is particularly looking for foster carers who are able to provide homes to older children and teenagers.
At Thursday’s drop-in members of the fostering team will be on hand to talk about what being a foster carer involves and will be able to answer your questions.
Peter Evans, county council cabinet member for Children-Start of Life, said: “Deciding to foster isn’t an easy decision to make – it changes your life completely, and that’s why we want to make finding out about fostering as easy as possible.
“Drop-in events, like the one at Chichester Library, provide a great opportunity for people to talk to our fostering team – it doesn’t matter how big or small your question may be, the team will be happy to help you.
“I would urge anyone who may be thinking about fostering to pop along and find out more.”
Andy added: “Fostering isn’t always right for everyone – but you won’t know if fostering is right for you, until you pick up the phone or talk to someone to find out more.
“If it is right for you, it will be the best thing you will ever do.”