Fostering – talk with those who know best

Experienced carers who know all about the challenges and rewards of looking after a child in care will be on hand at a drop-in information event organised by East Sussex County Council.

The informal event will be held at the Lansdowne Hotel in Eastbourne between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 24 January, and has been organised by the County Council as part of its ‘fillaspace’ campaign to find more carers.

It is aimed at giving people more information about the different ways they could get involved in helping a child in care – through fostering, providing short break care, or helping older children leaving care.

Staff from the Council’s fostering team, rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, will be on hand to chat and answer questions. Experienced carers will also be at the event. They will offer information about all the different types of short term or permanent fostering, as well as fostering for parents and babies, and for disabled children.

The ‘fillaspace’ recruitment campaign launched in October 2012 includes radio adverts, banners and posters in local communities, and a special website providing a range of information about the ways people can help ‘fill a space’ in a child’s life.

The campaign images feature a child being held aloft on the shoulders of an adult – supported and loved, smiling and happy – but the adult has been removed from the picture and a cut-out left in place. The challenge to residents is “could you fill this space?”

Cllr Colin Belsey, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children and Families said: “These events are really informal and relaxed and are aimed at providing information to anyone who has ever thought about fostering or who might want to know a bit more about what is involved.

“There are many different ways in which people can help support a child in care, and carers come from all walks of life. We’re looking for all types of carer and would love to chat to people about the options available and the different levels of commitment involved.”

Residents are being urged to visit to find out more about the campaign and the many different ways they might be able to help. They can also ring a special campaign hotline that has been set up on 01323 464129 to speak to a member of staff about the campaign and the different ways they can help.

Details of other fostering events can be found here: