Protecting vulnerable children

Foster mum backs appeal for more carers

A mum who has been fostering for more than a decade is urging others to give disabled children a loving temporary home.

Tina from Guildford has fostered over 40 children, including a 10 year-old girl with learning difficulties, since 2005.

Now she is calling on people to throw open their doors either on a short-term basis, from the odd overnight stay to a few weeks to offer a break for parents a carers.

“Caring for Sophie for the last three years has been a life changing and enriching experience, Tina said.

“Sophie is a really wonderful little girl. She finds verbal communication challenging, but that doesn’t stop her singing at the top of her voice, and our house is always filled with her laughter and singing.

“Sophie will be with us until she reaches adulthood so it’s a long-term arrangement, however I would encourage people to consider shorter term fostering as well.

“Even just a couple of hours a week makes a big difference to a disabled child and their family and don’t underestimate the benefits it will bring to your life.”

Mary Angell, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Children Schools and Families explained: “This is about urging people to come forward and provide care on a short-term basis, whether that’s an occasional overnight stay, a weekend or a month.

“We offer excellent support and training, but most of all we offer the opportunity to share your lives with some very special youngsters who need help.”

Five children in Surrey would currently benefit from short-break care.

For more information about fostering call 08000 96 96 26 or visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/fostering

The number of children in Surrey who are waiting for short-break (respite) care can change daily.

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