Released: 23 December, 2020
Due to the increasing number of children in care in West Sussex, the County Council is actively looking for new foster carers within the county.
It has been an extraordinary and challenging year, particularly for the most vulnerable families. West Sussex County Council is currently caring for 935 children in West Sussex, an increase of 137 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Thankfully, more and more people are getting in touch about becoming foster carers and as a result, the council has seen an 18 per cent rise in the number of enquiries for new foster carers since March. Across this time, 18 new fostering households have been approved and are now successfully fostering with West Sussex County Council, and a further 24 assessments are currently underway.
Claire Fraher and her family foster a young child with West Sussex County Council. Claire said: “In this year full of hardship and worry, what a joy it has been to care for this little gift of life. She has brought smiles and hope back into our family and reminds us every day that no matter what is going on in the world, we can make a difference.”
More foster carers like the Frahers are needed locally to help ensure there is a network of support around vulnerable children and families.
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “As we continue to see the numbers of children we care for increase in West Sussex, in part due to Covid, the role of our foster carers is more vital than ever. I cannot thank our carers enough for all that they continue to do for our vulnerable children during what are unprecedented times for us all.
“I am really encouraged to hear that more and more people are getting in touch with us to express an interest in becoming a foster carer. The need for more foster carers in West Sussex has never been greater so I would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to contact our team, who can help you decide if fostering is right for you and your family.”
West Sussex County Council’s fostering recruitment team remain busy and virtual assessments continue to take place, meaning new carers can be approved within 4-6 months of applying.
People find out more on our fostering website or call our fostering recruitment team on 033 022 27775.