Foster Portsmouth is once again marking Foster Care Fortnight (15-28 May) by lighting up iconic city buildings and flying their flag outside Portsmouth City Council’s Civic Offices.

The council’s fostering service will also be holding its spring drop-in foster carer recruitment event on Saturday 20 May at the Holiday Inn Express – Portsmouth North at Farlington from 10am-1pm enabling visitors to discover the rewards of fostering and the difference they can make to the lives of Portsmouth’s vulnerable children and young people.

Foster Care Fortnight was founded by the UK’s leading fostering charity The Fostering Network to raise awareness of the transformational power of fostering, to support fostering services – including Foster Portsmouth – and to showcase the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. This year’s campaign theme is fostering communities.

The Foster Portsmouth flag will be flown outside The Civic Offices, and The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth Central Library and the Isambard Brunel car park will all be lit up in Foster Portsmouth’s blue and orange brand colours during the two week campaign to raise awareness of the need for additional foster carers to provide loving homes in the Portsmouth area, and to celebrate our own fostering community.

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

“We need more people to provide loving homes for the children and young people who find themselves in need in our city. We particularly need foster carers for older children, sibling groups and children seeking asylum, although we’d love to hear from anyone who has room in their home and their hearts to care for vulnerable children.”

Cllr Horton continued:

“The national Foster Care Fortnight campaign raises awareness of the vital role fostering plays and the rewards it can bring. It also allows us to celebrate our foster carers and the inspiration they provide to the next generation.”

The recruitment event will enable people living in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas who wish to find out more about fostering to talk directly to existing foster carers and to hear first-hand the difference they could make to a child or young person’s life.

One previous recruitment event attendee commented:

“‘Attending and hearing stories from the foster families and their enthusiasm for what they do has made my mind up.”

Foster carer Rachel recently shared: “Over time we have seen our young person develop pride, self-esteem, motivation and self-confidence. He has a very different future now and we are very proud of him.”

Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom could foster with Foster Portsmouth regardless of their age, gender, faith, ethnicity, sexuality, marital or work status, or whether they rent or own their own home.

Our fostering service welcomes all enquiries about fostering. This could be a short or long term arrangement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, care for children seeking asylum or children with a disability, supported lodgings to support young adults preparing for independence, a parent and child placement, or respite care.

Foster carers receive excellent support, including through the pioneering Mockingbird model of care and mentoring scheme, local training, out of hours support, and competitive fees and allowances.

For more information on Foster Portsmouth’s spring recruitment event on Saturday 20 May at the Holiday Inn Express – Portsmouth North at Farlington, please visit: www.foster.portsmouth.gov.uk/events. There is no need to book, people can simply drop-in between 10am-1pm. Refreshments will be available.

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