Brighton parents have shared their stories of fostering to encourage others to come forward.
Brighton and Hove City Council said sometimes parents feel worried about the impact fostering might have on their birth children.
But Cat and Paul are among many foster carers who feel fostering has been a rewarding and positive experience for the whole family.
The couple have fostered teenagers with Brighton and Hove City Council for over eight years and have two sons now aged 18 and 20.
Cat said: “We have had a very open communication with our own birth children right from the start, because we felt the whole family had to be behind us.
“We chatted about what fostering was and why we wanted to do it, and they were supportive from day one.
“They were very involved in the entire process, and the council’s social work team made sure they understood what fostering was and were comfortable with it.
“I think it’s given our own children a much wider perspective of the world.
“They are more tolerant, compassionate and open minded, and I think it has also given them a sense of gratitude as they realise just how lucky they are to have a stable, loving family.
Cat’s son said: “I’ve felt proud to be part of a foster family, and would encourage other children to give it a try. Each placement has been different but I have happy memories of every one.”
Single parent Natasha has two birth children aged 13 and eight, and has been fostering teenagers for two years.
She said: “My own children tell me they like meeting new young people and getting to know them – and seeing things get better for them.
“They have learnt lots about other cultures and about sharing, and I think it has really brought out their generosity and kindness.”
Brighton and Hove City Council is holding an information event for families who think they could foster on Saturday, March 10 at 10am at The Sussex County Cricket Ground, Eaton Rd, Hove.
It’s a chance to meet Brighton and Hove City Council’s fostering team and as well as foster carers and some of their children.
For those who can’t make the information session, or would like an informal chat with the council’s fostering team sooner, call 01273 295444. For more on fostering on Brighton and Hove, visit: www.fosteringinbrightonandhove.org.uk