Foster Portsmouth is marking Foster Care Fortnight (9-22 May) by lighting up iconic city buildings and flying their flag outside Portsmouth City Council's Civic Offices for the first time.
The council's fostering service will also be holding its spring drop-in foster carer recruitment event on Wednesday 18 May at the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays from 7.30-9.30pm enabling visitors to enjoy stunning sunset views of the city whilst discovering the positive impact 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 and Portsmouth Guildhall will 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 Group Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, commented:
"It has never been more important to take that next step in your fostering journey if you've ever considered becoming a foster carer. We need more foster carers to join our dedicated fostering community to care for children and young people who find themselves in need in Portsmouth, particularly for teenagers, siblings and unaccompanied refugee minors arriving in our city, though we'd love to hear from anyone who can offer a loving home to vulnerable children or young people."
Cllr Horton continued:
"The national Foster Care Fortnight campaign provides us with an opportunity not only to raise awareness of the rewards fostering can bring and the difference it makes to children's lives, but also for us to recognise the vital work our existing foster carers do and celebrate the progress and achievements of the children in their care."
The recruitment event at the Spinnaker Tower 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."
Jo Austin, an experienced foster carer passionate about fostering with Foster Portsmouth, added:
"I have provided short term, respite and emergency foster care for children, sibling groups, teenagers with autism, and five mothers with their babies. They were all challenging yet rewarding in their own unique ways. Seeing children learning to heal and form healthy, loving attachments and relationships is the most rewarding part of fostering for me."
"If the time is right for you then go for it. You have nothing to lose but very much to gain. My life has been so much more enriched and colourful for all the experiences I’ve had with fostering for Foster Portsmouth."
For more information on Foster Portsmouth's spring recruitment event on Wednesday 18 May at the Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays, please visit: www.foster.portsmouth.