Foster families got together to enjoy a picnic in Tilgate Park.
Organised by staff working in the Family Placement Team at West Sussex County Council, the event enabled carers and foster children to spend time playing together.
Claire, whose name has been changed to protect the identity of the children in her care, was one of the foster mums at the picnic. She has been a foster carer for the County Council for around 18 months, having previously been with an independent agency.
She said: “It has been a really good afternoon – it’s nice to be able to get together with other foster carers.
“It’s a chance to talk to people who are in a similar situation and understand what you are going through.
“It’s also nice for the children to spend time with each other and to just have fun playing with one another.
“There are also monthly coffee mornings, which are another opportunity for us – as carers – to help each other.”
Foster carers in West Sussex receive a comprehensive support package from the Council, including on-going training to help meet the needs of the children and young people in their care.
Claire added: “The courses are fantastic – some are compulsory but there are also ones that you can sign up for and say you would like to attend.
“We went on a Therapeutic Parenting Course which was really good and has helped us to support our foster children better – especially as one of our foster children has a learning disability.
“Overall the support we’ve had has been brilliant.”
For further information about fostering, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering or call 01403 229333.