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More foster carers needed for adults in Brighton and Hove
A carer who opens up her home to adults with disabilities has spoken of her pride in seeing people grow in confidence.
While many are familiar with fostering, few have heard of a similar role in providing a home supporting adults with physical or learning disabilities.
As Brighton and Hove City Council embarks on a recruitment drive for its Shared Lives programme, a number of those already providing support spoke of their experiences.
Lyn Knight, who has been a carer for 20 years, currently cares for three people.
Ms Knight, who lives in central Brighton, said: “These are people with learning disabilities, and it can take time for them to settle in.
“Some may not have come from a stable home life, and some may never have experienced that sense of security that it brings.
“Once they have settled in you see such an improvement in how happy and confident they are, and that’s incredibly rewarding.”
The council is looking for people to offer long and short-term care to join its 28 carers, with more than 40 people currently using the service.
It is meant to give people greater independence, choice and control when they might normally by living with their parents.
Demand is increasing now the service was opened up to people with physical disabilities and older people.
Carers receive fees of up to £495 a week which means some see it as an alternative to a normal nine to five job.
Ms Knight said: “Patience is everything in this role. Sometimes you have to take a step back and realise how frustrating life must be for them sometimes.
“Going to a shop and buying a magazine is something I take for granted, but people with learning disabilities are likely to need someone to enable them to do even basic things like this.
“You have to do everything you can to treat people as individuals and really make them feel they belong in your home.”
The council will hold an information day on the scheme at Brighton’s Jubilee Library on Tuesday from 10am to 5pm.
Rob Jarrett, chairman of the council’s adult care and health committee, said: “Our carers tend to find their role really rewarding and do a fantastic job. The feedback we get from the people they look after and their families is incredibly positive.
“We take great care in ‘matching’ the right carer with the right person.
“The more carers we can recruit the easier it becomes to get a really good match.
“If you are friendly, patient, non-judgmental, flexible, a good listener and have a spare bedroom we’d love to hear from you.”
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