Make a difference and become a foster carer

To coincide with Foster Care Fortnight (10-23 May) - the UK’s biggest care awareness raising campaign - the fostering team is urging people from Black, Asian and mixed-race communities to consider becoming foster carers.

Our not-for-profit fostering service currently has around 280 children in its care, using over 150 foster carers.

The theme for this year’s campaign is #WhyWeCare (see the video below of our carers and foster carer's children on why they care).

Councillor Elaine Hills, chair of our Corporate Parenting Board, said: “Foster carers do an incredible job every day, this was especially so during the pandemic providing day-to-day support, love and stability to children who can’t live with their birth families.

“Being a foster carer is to take on a role like no other, so if you are looking for a new lifestyle or career in the aftermath of Covid-19 and you believe you have the right skills please consider being a foster carer for your local authority.”

The council has several children in its care from a Black, Asian or mixed-race background, but most of its foster carers are not.

Cathy Seiderer our Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Manager added: “We want our fostering community to represent the diversity of the city.

"That means attracting more foster carers from Black, Asian, mixed-race communities, as well as from all cultures and faiths and the LGTBQ+ community.

“We have a wonderful community of fantastic foster carers and we want to reach out and appeal to the whole community of Brighton & Hove and surrounding areas to encourage them to find out more about fostering for their local authority.

"You really can make such a difference to a young person’s life.”

Stella Letanka-Jeffs, has been fostering for nearly six years and is one of just a handful of foster carers in the city from the Black community.

She said: “Just do it, I think the children need our input and expertise from experiences of race and racism, through to the simple things like skin and hair care.

“This really is an amazing job, and I care because I know that we can give the children the safe, secure, happy early start to life they really deserve.”

Every year the council continues to need more foster carers to care for the city’s vulnerable children. Too often people believe they don’t qualify to be a foster care.

In fact the main requirements are that a carer has a spare bedroom, childcare experience and to hold the values required to foster.

Some other myths dispelled:

  • You can have a job outside of the home and still foster
  • Single people can foster
  • You do not need to own your own home
  • You don’t need to be a parent

Councillor Hills added: “As a local authority we are not-for-profit, our payment scheme is competitive compared to private providers, our training and support is exceptional. By joining us you’ll be part of a close and supportive foster care community.”

If you want to find more by talking to other carers then you can attend one of the foster team’s informal virtual information sessions which are held fortnightly.

Details of upcoming sessions can be found on our fostering website and Facebook page (@BrightonHoveFostering). You can follow Brighton & Hove Fostering on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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