Hampshire County Council is celebrating its annual Foster Focus Week (23 – 29 October) by recognising the work and support provided by the Hampshire Hives – a network of community groups for foster carers.

There are now 23 Hampshire Hives in place – groups of local foster carers who provide support, advice and opportunities to all foster carers in the area. Each group is led by a Hive Carer Support Worker responsible for co-ordinating and supporting the foster families in their network.

The County Council is also running a series of in-person and virtual information events throughout Foster Focus Week, offering the opportunity for Hampshire residents to find out more about fostering.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Children’s Services said: “Foster Focus Week is our way of saying thank you and celebrating the vital role which all our foster carers play across Hampshire.

“They look after and support some of our most vulnerable children and in turn, the Hampshire Hive communities look after and support them. Fostering is such a rewarding and important commitment and anyone who is interested in opening their doors to a foster child should get in touch with the Fostering Hampshire Children team.”

Denise Brown, Hive Carer Support Worker, said her work involves staying in touch with other Hives through online meetings that offer an opportunity to find out about training opportunities and discuss any support that may be needed.

She also offers out of hours emergency care for children in the area, as well as providing support and advice to foster carers within her Hive, both in person and on WhatsApp. Support includes helping to arrange care cover, advice on fostering allowances and many other practical issues.

Dominique Dunning, Assistant Team Manager – Hampshire Hive, said: “The Hives offer holistic support, from initial greeting and buddying up through assessment to allocation. They work to build a community of care around the fostering family, supporting the personal development of foster carers and forging connections between all fostering family members.”

Learn more about starting your own fostering journey, and the support provided by Hampshire Hives, by talking to the Fostering Hampshire Children team at the following locations throughout Foster Focus Week:

  • Monday 23 October, 10am – 2pm, Winchester Science Centre, SO21 1HZ
  • Tuesday 24 October, 7pm – 8pm, Virtual Information Session with a Foster Carer – Book Here
  • Wednesday 25 October, 10am – 4pm, Milestones Museum, RG22 6PG
  • Friday 27 October, 10am – 5pm, The Watercress Line, SO24 9JG

Anyone unable to attend any of the above events can find out more from the Fostering Hampshire Children website, which provides a wealth of resources, information and details of events.