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Next Mother's Day could be a very special day if you decide to foster or adopt a child.

That's the message from Portsmouth City Council as Mothering Sunday approaches.

Becoming a foster mum to a young child or teenager can be one of the most rewarding things a person can do.  There is a significant need to recruit foster carers to provide a caring home, guidance and direction especially to teenagers, to be just the right role model and inspiration they need to help them turn their life around. 

There are numerous fostering opportunities available, from being a stay at home full-time foster carer for a young child, fostering a teenager whilst continuing to work full or part-time, to simply providing a room and around 10 hours a week support to one of Portsmouth's vulnerable 16-24 year olds through the "Lodgings Plus" scheme.  All foster carers receive excellent support, training, competitive allowances and fees.

Adopting a child or sibling group means becoming a mum in a very special way.  Now is the ideal time to contact Portsmouth City Council's adoption service, who have an annual flagship event coming up at Marwell Zoo in April.  Anyone genuinely interested in adoption, preferably living outside of a central city location, can register their interest to go along and see a presentation from the adoption team, take part in a question and answer session with families who have already adopted children, and enjoy free entry to the zoo for the day.  

The council recruits adopters from across the region, within 50 miles of Portsmouth, and potentially further afield, and needs adopters in particular for children aged 3 plus and sibling groups.  Fantastic support is provided for all adopters, both during the assessment process and post-adoption, including family events over the Summer, Christmas and Easter periods. 

If you have a spare room, you can adopt or foster regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, whether single or part of a couple, or whether you own or rent your own home.

Cllr Ryan Brent, Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Social Care, said "We need to recruit more adopters and foster carers to provide stability and care for some of the city's most vulnerable children and young people, who need a range of periods of care from permanent families, short-term and longer term placements, and an environment where they can grow, develop and achieve their goals.  I would urge anyone to consider adoption or fostering, especially anyone with any childcare experience, or experience of working with young people, whether professional, personal or voluntary."

For more information on fostering you can contact the Fostering Recruitment Team on 023 9283 4071, or visit foster.portsmouth.gov.uk.

For more information on adoption in general, visit adoption.portsmouth.gov.uk, and to enquire about coming to the adoption recruitment event at Marwell Zoo, please call 02392 87 5294.