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Find out more about becoming a foster parent at special event at Dartford Science and Technology College this weekend

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:00 10 October 2016

Fostering

Fostering

Archant

Your chance to find out what it involves and speak to those who are already acting as carers

A push for more foster parents will take place in Dartford at the weekend as Kent County Council continues a countywide push for 200 carers.

At least 28 forster parents are need in north Kent this year to cope with increasing demand.

Without more carers, it is difficult to provide the stable, permanent homes which can make a crucial difference to the future of a vulnerable young person.

Now prospective foster carers can hear presentations from people already in the role at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm, as well as chat to staff and carers, at Dartford Science and Technology College in Heath Lane, on Saturday October 15.

Jackie West, 53, who lives in Dartford with her husband Dave, has been a foster carer for nearly 11 years and fostered more than 30 children from babies to teens. She will be sharing her experiences at the event.

She said: “It is the little things that make it so rewarding. We had a girl who was only with us for a little while but when she came to us she had a lot of problems and she kept running away and coming back. We supported her through a year of college which means she took that with her and had a qualification when she left.

“Another little girl came to us when she was three and was still in nappies. She hardly walked or talked. We saw her through to her adoption. We took her to an adoption activity day where she met a couple who fell in love with her straight away. She was holding their hands and talking to them, which was amazing to see. They ended up adopting her and two years on, we still keep in contact with her and it is so rewarding to see how much she’s bloomed – she has so much confidence.

“There are just so many parts to fostering – it is about helping children better their lives. You don’t always realise that you’re helping them at first but you are planting seeds and showing them a different way – whether that’s seeing my husband go to work every day, or seeing what a supportive family is like. Something small to you may make a huge difference to them. I’ve had children come back to me and say something I don’t even remember doing, like making them their favourite meal, which has had such a lasting impression on them.”

Kent County Council needs homes for older children, aged 13-18, supporting them towards independence, for children with disabilities and for sibling groups to help keep brothers and sisters together.

Foster carers can be married, single, living with a partner, with or without children of their own.

To find out more, visit the Dartford fostering information event or visit www.kentfostering.co.uk. Alternatively phone 03000 420002 and speak to one of our advisors.

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