Care leaver Harry on what makes a good foster carer

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Release date: 14 May 2019

It’s the small things that make the biggest difference. That’s what our children in care tell us.

To mark Foster Care Fortnight (13-26 May 2019), West Sussex County Council is asking people to consider if they could #ChangeALife by fostering.

Harry, 23, went into fostering in West Sussex at the age of 15. He said: “In terms of my childhood, I had to grow up very, very quickly. At 15 I could do my washing, cook and really look after myself, but emotionally I had no clue.”

Remembering his own foster placement of five-and-a-half years, he said: “My foster carer would do things for me that I wasn’t used to people doing for me. I needed glasses and she took me to the opticians and bought me new glasses.

“She knew when I was upset or had had a bad day without me needing to say it and knew how to handle it. She helped me to build up a support network.”

Harry now regularly shares his experience in care to help train people who are thinking about becoming foster carers. He said: “The reason I do all this (training) is so we can get foster carers who genuinely want to do what they’re doing, who are willing to adapt and learn and who will listen to the young person’s perspective. Really advocate and be that megaphone for that young person, that’s what I needed when I was that age.”

West Sussex County Council is urgently looking for new foster carers who can make a difference to a child and who believe they could #ChangeALife.

Paul Marshall, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our current foster carers are from different backgrounds and ages but all share a passion for giving children a safe and loving home. If you think you could help someone through a potentially challenging time, our fostering team are on hand to answer your questions.”

Call 03302227775 or visit our Fostering web pages.

Look out for our new campaign featuring a foster carer's story or follow @FosterWSCC on Twitter and search #ChangeALife.

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