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Portsmouth City Council is holding their summer virtual fostering event on Tuesday 29 June between 7-9pm for people living in the city and the surrounding areas who wish to find out more about becoming a foster carer.

The online event, which will be held over zoom, will provide attendees with the opportunity to talk to existing foster carers and to hear first-hand about the reality and rewards of fostering, all from the comfort of their own home.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“We have 371 looked after children in Portsmouth, many of whom are looking for a secure and loving home right now. If you’ve ever considered fostering or a career with children or young people, now is the ideal time for you to take that next step and gain insight from foster carers themselves by registering for Tuesday’s informal online event. You really can change their life… and yours.”

Maggie, a Portsmouth sole carer for over 13 years, has supported many young people over the years from diverse backgrounds. She shared:

“You can see the difference in a child from when they first come to you to when they leave your home, no matter how long or short that time may be. You’ve made an impact.”

As the south coast’s pioneer of the Mockingbird Family Model programme, Foster Portsmouth not only offers its unique benefits and a mentoring scheme, but excellent, local training and 24/7 support.

Maggie commented:

“The support is outstanding within the Mockingbird Family Model. It is based on the concept of a small community working together with a central ‘hub’ home carer with foster families as the ‘satellites’. The proven outcomes for children and young people are much, much better.”

Maggie, one of the new ‘hub’ home carers, continued:

“We all get to know each other, support each other, do training together and attend social events together. This improves the stability of the placements of the children. I’m really excited about Mockingbird actually!”

The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering and, while a spare bedroom is crucial, it doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your own home. Portsmouth City Council’s foster carers come from all walks of life and, regardless of their marital and working status, age, gender, ethnicity, faith or sexuality, they all share the same commitment and motivation to make a positive difference to a child’s life.

To register for the virtual event, please visit www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk/events.

For more information on fostering in general, please contact the fostering recruitment team on 023 9283 4071, visit www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk or email fostering@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.