Portsmouth City Council are holding their first foster carer recruitment event of 2023 on Saturday, 21 January, from 10 am-1 pm at Portsmouth’s Holiday Inn Express, Farlington.
As you clinked flutes or joined the countdown this New Year’s Eve, what resolutions did you make? How about one that changes your life… and theirs?
The first fostering drop-in event of the new year will be held on Saturday, 21 January, from 10 am-1 pm at Portsmouth’s Holiday Inn Express, Farlington. It will provide an opportunity for people living in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas who wish to learn more about fostering to talk directly to existing foster carers and hear first-hand about the rewards fostering can bring.
Due to the national shortage of foster carers, we need more loving homes for vulnerable children and young people in our city, particularly those aged ten and over.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Group Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, commented:
“Over two thirds of children in our care are aged 10 or over. This presents a pressing need to find additional foster carers for older children and teens who find themselves in need in Portsmouth.”
“There are stubborn myths that persist around the fostering of teens as they are often pigeonholed. However, many behaviours are either those of typical teens or they may be born of insecurity, fear and confusion. Sadly, these myths can prevent potential foster carers from applying or considering older children, ultimately denying these children a loving home.”
Cllr Horton, who will drop into the event on Saturday, continued:
“Fostering teenagers and supporting them as they navigate their way towards adult life is highly rewarding. We need people with the time and patience to help these young people flourish and meet their potential, or indeed any other child in need, to come forward and discover how they can make a difference to their lives, and their own.”
Foster Portsmouth ask those considering fostering to keep an open mind regarding the children they feel they can care for while exploring options, gaining insight from our existing foster carers, and discovering the support on offer.
It is never too late to make a difference in young lives, as foster carer Zhoura Blakeman shares:
“It’s so rewarding to be a foster carer and to give these young people an opportunity to strive forward in life and to have positive outcomes. It is the best thing in the world. I absolutely love working with the young people.”
We need more foster carers from diverse backgrounds in the Portsmouth area to reflect the looked-after children and young people in our city. Young people like 14-year-old Josh* who loves the outdoors, going to the park, walking in the woods, climbing trees and looking for insects, and is looking for a long-term foster family. Josh, described as having a ‘great personality’, has gained confidence and is doing well in school.
“If you have a spare bedroom, then you can welcome a young person into your home and give them the nurture and care that they’re looking for.”
If you’ve ever thought about fostering, why not make taking that next step one of your new year’s resolutions?
Join us to learn more about the positive impact you can make on the lives of Portsmouth’s vulnerable children and young people.
For more information on the event on Saturday, 21 January, or any of our forthcoming community events, please visit www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk/events. There’s no need to book; people can drop in between 10 am-1 pm. Free parking and refreshments will be available.