To mark National Care Day on 15 February 2019, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate foster carers for their dedication to improving the lives of children and young people.

We met with foster carers Anne and Terri, who have been fostering for 17 years, to hear about the positive changes they see in the children they foster.

“You don’t expect a pat on the back from anybody”

Anne and Terri are friends who foster at their Eastbourne home. They originally started to foster through an independent fostering agency before transferring to us.

“I think the best bits about fostering are seeing some progress in the child,” said Anne. “From probably being an angry little person, to settling down and progressing through school, and having a good outcome.

“We had a little boy who was very angry at being in care and he actually came to see us and he was at university and he’s done extremely well.”

Terri added: “He actually said to us that the best thing that ever happened to him was coming into care. You don’t expect a pat on the back from anybody, but that was a lovely thought that he came back and told us that.”

Terri also reflected on how difficult it can be for children in care and how important it is for carers to understand that: “How would we feel if we were suddenly thrust into a home? We didn’t know what they were like, we didn’t know what their home was like, we didn’t know what they ate. If you can put yourself in the placement’s position it helps.”

The friends say transferring from a foster care agency to East Sussex has enabled them to help more children, as they often had long gaps between placements with the agency. Terri explains, “East Sussex places children with agencies when they can’t place them with their own carers.” Both carers also praise the training and support they receive.

You can watch their interview here:

Could you foster?

There are always children waiting for a safe and loving home. If you think you could foster a child, why not have an informal chat with the team at East Sussex County Council? Our information van, launched by author Jacqueline Wilson, visits lots of locations across East Sussex. Find out when we are in your area.

Learn more about becoming a foster carer.