A mother who was a foster child has encouraged people to answer an appeal for more carers.
Sam Tarry, 28, of Worth, has explained why a loving home was so important to her when she lost her mother to breast cancer when she was aged only eight.
This comes as West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is appealing for people to apply to become foster carers.
Sam explained how her foster parents brought her into their home and treated her as one of their own children.
She said: “They were really supportive. I was like their own child.
“Their five sons and daughter treated me like their sister. It was like a new family.”
Sam’s mother was diagnosed with cancer when she was seven so when her mother was in hospital Sam went to stay with her foster parents.
Sam said her foster parents told her they loved looking after children in need of a home.
Sam is now a mother-of-three. Her four-year-old son Tom has four limb cerebral palsy and epilepsy and is wheelchair bound so Sam is his full-time carer.
She said if she had the time for another child she would love to be a foster parent.
WSCC has defended the application process involved in becoming a foster carer after some visitors to the Crawley Observer Facebook page said they were put off fostering due to the long process.
A WSCC spokesperson said a thorough process was needed ‘to ensure that the most suitable people are chosen to work with the vulnerable children of West Sussex’.
It added that the process varies in timescale dependent on the nature of the questions raised and answers provided and is different for each and every case.
Kevan Mitchell wrote on the Observer’s Facebook page: “We was going through the process until we saw the paperwork, interference, bother and stress that comes with fostering and pulled out.
“There are serious issues that can really put people off.”
Other people found they were not able to foster because of their medical history or because they did not have enough room in their house.
A WSCC spokesperson said: “Safeguarding our children is paramount, and considering the disadvantaged backgrounds that many looked after children come from, it is only right to ensure that they are placed with foster carers able to meet their unique and varied requirements.”
WSCC will hold fostering drop-in sessions this year.
To find out more about fostering or for the fostering drop-in session dates, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk or call 033 022 27775.