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What it's like to foster a child for Lewisham

To mark Foster Care Fortnight from 11-24 May, we are celebrating the contributions of our current foster carers and welcoming new carers to join us. We spoke to some of our existing foster carers to find out what it’s like to foster for Lewisham.

Jennifer, who provides respite foster care (and has her own daughter Carlene) said:

"Whilst fostering can be very challenging at times, the challenges for me are outweighed by the achievements. Having a positive impact on the lives of children and young people, and them on us, is rewarding. Developing long lasting relationships with or impressions on the child after they have left our care is fulfilling."

Our foster carers Errol and Carleen (shown in the video below) spoke of how fostering has been immensely rewarding and praised the support provided by Lewisham’s social workers. They said:

"It is very rewarding when you the see the results... We are proud of them. We have had tremendous support from all our social workers especially from our own supervising social worker. When we have needed additional support it has been there. All through the night."

Carol, who has fostered for Lewisham for almost two decades and recently received a long service award, said:

"I foster for Lewisham because I enjoy spending time with young people, providing them with a safe and secure environment, and seeing them develop into independent adults. Even when they leave our care they remain a part our family."

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown period Lewisham’s foster carers have continued to provide excellent care and support for our children. This has included doing creative drawing, supporting their education and ensuring they remain safe whilst exercising. Our foster carers continue to receive practical support from social workers and have the opportunity to attend peer support group meetings online.

We expect additional referrals in the coming months as a result of the lockdown. This is due to an increase in instances of domestic violence, the impact on incomes and the extra strain on people’s mental health.

Lewisham currently has over 470 children in care and around 130 local carers. A local foster home helps our children to stay in the same school, keep connections to their family and maintain their friendships. We are looking for single people or couples in Lewisham, with a spare bedroom, along with the time to provide care, support and help.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, read more about fostering for Lewisham.

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