Fostering Teenagers Appeal
West Sussex is in need of more people to foster teenagers. Two-thirds of the county’s children in care (being 541 out of the 845 children – 64%) are aged between 11-17 as of December 2021. Over half of these young people are in foster care but many others are still waiting.
In a bid to recruit new foster carers, West Sussex County Council launched a new campaign for people who could give a child a chance to speak to their foster service. Children are carefully matched with carers and training and support is provided.
Foster Service Carer
Michelle Barnes has fostered teenagers with the County Council’s foster service for 26 years. Michelle said: “Seeing all these children coming in your door as one thing, when they leave they’re totally someone else. A lot of them just need a safe place, somewhere where they can feel secure.
“To anyone thinking about fostering, I say go for it. You can be at home with your own children and there’s lots of support and training from West Sussex, there’s always help available.”
Michelle added: “All they need is a chance. Somebody to be there who’s not going to give up on them. It’s just nice to change lives, and we do as foster carers.”
Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Christmas is an exciting time for most of us, but for many children in care who haven’t experienced happy Christmases it can be a really difficult time.
“Our foster carers like Michelle are our heroes who give these children happy experiences that really do transform their lives.
“At the moment we are in real need of people to foster teenagers. These children need a safe, stable home where they can be themselves and have the help they need to guide them into adulthood. If you think you can help, please give our friendly fostering team a call and they will be happy to answer any questions you have.”
Find more information on West Sussex County Council’s foster service – fostering a teenager webpage.