Guest article: Karen Venditto

We couldn’t be more proud of the national exposure one of our foster families has received when interviewed for The One Show by Ronnie Archer-Morgan last month.

Ronnie (you may know him from the Antiques Roadshow) has positive memories of his own foster family in Eastbourne. In his segment, he returns to Eastbourne and meets up with his foster sisters to catch up and revisit old memories. On that same day, Ronnie and The One Show team also met with a local foster family. This family began fostering a little girl many years ago for East Sussex County Council and they’re still fostering with us! That little girl is all grown up, and still a much loved and integral part of their family. Now in her 20’s, Leah says she still feels completely ‘at home’ when she visits.

When she first moved in…

When she first moved in, Leah kept her bedroom in military-style tidiness. She had been moved from another family recently and was anticipating another move in advance. She wanted to know where her few things were, neatly arranged and ready to grab if needed. But this time, despite the inevitable wobbles during the settling in period, her foster carers worked their magic and made her feel safe. As time passed, Leah’s bedroom began to resemble that of any other child. That’s when they knew she had begun to trust that she might stay. “Then when we had all the usual teenage attitude going on too, we knew we’d really cracked it!” said Mum.

The ‘permanence panel’ agreed that Leah could stay and become a permanent family member and they were overjoyed.  Leah still remembers the huge feeling of relief and belonging that day. At 18 years old she decided to legally take their surname and calls them Mum and Dad.  As far as they were concerned she had already been their daughter, and little sister to their birth daughter, for years and will always be.

The humour, banter, love and trust that flows easily amongst them is very natural. Leah loves the fact that her mum and dad have continued to foster other vulnerable children.  She has taken an active role supporting other children and young people in care herself too. Towards the end of our chat, she looked at her mum and said “I want you to keep going with the fostering because you’re so good at it”.  I don’t think Leah realised quite how touching that was to hear.

“I’ll definitely be a foster carer myself one day. I’ve learnt the skills from my mum and dad, they’re amazing” said Leah.

Catch the full interview

Catch our feature and Ronnie’s interview on our YouTube channel or below and share our pride for what this incredible family has achieved on their fostering journey.

Learn about becoming a foster carer

Find out more about becoming a foster carer or supported lodgings provider on our website or please get in touch on 01323 464129 or through the website enquiry form. We have vulnerable children in need of more foster families now!