Those looking for a new challenge in 2016 are invited to consider becoming a foster carer for Portsmouth City Council.
The fostering service need people like you to provide a caring home, guidance and direction to children of all ages, and especially teenagers, where you could be just the role model and inspiration they need to help them turn their life around.
There are numerous fostering opportunities available, from a stay at home full-time foster carer for a young child, to fostering a young person whilst continuing to work full or part-time.
Another option if you do not feel fostering is right for you is providing a room and around 10 hours a week support to one Portsmouth's vulnerable 16-24 year olds through the "Lodgings Plus" scheme.
All Portsmouth carers are given excellent support, training, competitive allowances and fees for each fostering option. You can foster regardless of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, whether single or part of a couple, or whether you own or rent your own home.
Emma, a foster carer for Portsmouth City Council, said "There are so many children who need looking after, I would really encourage people to look into it as it's such an amazing job". Cllr Neill Young, Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Education, said: "We are in need of more foster carers who can provide stability and care for children and young people. I would urge anyone interested in fostering to get in touch, or attend one of our informal drop-in sessions to find out more".
Alternatively, the council holds monthly fostering drop-in evening sessions in the Civic Offices reception area (Guildhall Walk), on either the first or second Tuesday of the month from 7pm-8.30pm. Upcoming drop-in events include Tuesday 9 February (7pm - 8.30pm); Tuesday 8 March (7pm - 8.30pm); and Tuesday 5 April (7pm - 8.30pm). There is no need to book, simply drop by for a chat with social workers and current foster carers, and see an informative presentation at 7.15pm.