This year we kicked off the UK’s biggest annual fostering awareness campaign by saying a huge thank you to our Foster Carers for the love, support and stability they offer children and young people in foster care. It was an opportunity for us as a fostering service to celebrate the difference Foster Carers make, and to recognise their year-round commitment, passion and dedication.
We invited all those who foster Brighton & Hove children to be part of the day and hosted the event at the AMEX stadium.
Keynote speaker Karim Al Abbas gave an uplifting address, inspiring carers who work with young people to recognise their own strengths and abilities. One Foster Carer described him as “simply brilliant” and another said, “it was refreshing to have Karim demonstrate so many helpful strategies and techniques which can be transferable in every learning scenario no matter whether young or old.”
We were honoured to welcome Dame Jacqueline Wilson to talk about her inspiration for the creation of Tracy Beaker. She reflected that the day was “such a happy and positive day… I feel that this is such a powerful and wonderful movement to change people’s lives.”
We then heard from arts collective, Miss Represented, who performed experimental theatre and an original song. We also heard from a Fostering Family, who spoke beautifully about their journey together.
These performances “evoked such emotion” in one Foster Carer who said it made her “realise how proud [she] is of [her] fostering colleagues and those in our city creatively working with young people who need it desperately.”
To round off the day, we heard from keynote Speaker Judith Denton, who said she was “honoured to be able to share [her] story, in celebration of [her] Foster Carers and to inspire hope to those who are Fostering and have a desire to Foster.”
Throughout the day, Foster Carers were invited to visit a ‘Marketplace’ consisting of information stalls and guidance on self-care and wellbeing. There were ‘goodies’ to collect and a relaxation space where Foster Carers could indulge in well-deserved chair massages, hand massages, reiki, and Indian head and shoulder massages – all provided by local therapists who were “honoured” to be part of our day.
We are thrilled to have received such wonderful feedback from Foster Carers who reflected on the day so positively;
“I came away positive and lifted, feeling very appreciated by the department. It is so nice to hear thank you and that you are valued”
“An inspirational and heart-warming day”
“I genuinely felt thanked”
“Thank you for the affirmations, the smiles, the marketplace and the head and shoulder massage”
New foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for Foster Carers for teenagers, sibling groups and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. If you think you could #changeafuture by becoming a Foster Carer, call 01273 295444 or enquire