Urgent call for foster families as more children in Suffolk need homes

Become a foster parent with Eastern Fostering Service Picture: Getty Images

The number of children in care in Suffolk has risen by 13% in the last five years. - Credit: Archant

There has been an urgent call for more foster parents to come forward as the number of children in care in Suffolk rises.

Suffolk Fostering Service has revealed the number of children in Suffolk needing foster care has increased by 13% in the last five years, from 834 in 2016/17, to 919 in 2020/21. 

Nationally the number of children in care is projected to hit 100,000 by 2025.     

However, number of new foster carers is not keeping up with this demand and more families are needed to support these children in their time of need.

Despite the rise, the number of local children needing temporary homes has fallen. The rise comes from a combination of the increase in unaccompanied asylum-seeker children being cared for under the Home Office's national transfer scheme and the fact children are staying in care for longer due to delays in the family courts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Suffolk County Council's Deputy Cabinet Member with responsibility for fostering and adoption, Councillor Stephen Burroughes, said: "Foster carers play a huge role in the lives of children and young people in their care.

"We have some wonderful families in Suffolk who’ve committed much of their time to support young people in need – but we still need more people who can provide a safe and loving family home to come forward.

Stephen Burroughes said it demonstrated that East Suffolk was providing the best facilities anywhere

Councillor Stephen Burroughes has said that Suffolk needs "more people who can provide a safe and loving family home to come forward." - Credit: Archant

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“Children in need of foster carers are some of the most vulnerable members of our society and helping them grow into successful, confident and resilient young adults can be hugely rewarding.

“Foster carers are able to fit work or other commitments around the care they provide and are also paid generous fees and allowances and supported around the clock by a dedicated team of professionals.

So, if you’re looking for a more rewarding career and can offer a Suffolk child a loving and secure home, please get in touch with the Suffolk Fostering team.”

Suffolk Fostering Service is the longest established foster service in the county, and has received an Ofsted Outstanding rating, whilst also offering 24 hour support to foster carers.

There are both part-time and full-time roles being sought. 

More information about how to become a carer can be found here or by calling 01473 264800.

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