A specialist intensive fostering scheme has been developed to return children to their families within three months.

The Fostering Emergency Support Programme (FESP) works intensively with the family, the child in care and the foster carer to resolve family difficulties.

The West Sussex County Council programme has seen a 30% increase in demand for its work with families over the last year.

Councillor Peter Evans, cabinet member for children and families, said: “Family crises do happen but West Sussex County Council's FESP means that families can resolve their difficulties and prevent young people remaining in care unnecessarily.

“The intensive work done by the FESP with the family and young person means that relationships are improved so a future family breakdown can be averted.”

The council makes sure a full package of training and support is provided to all its foster carers to meet the needs of the children and young people.

Anyone who is interested in fostering West Sussex children should call the fostering recruitment team on 01403 229333 or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fostering.