Suffolk: Help us find more foster carers

SUFFOLK: A new campaign is today being launched to recruit new foster carers in Suffolk to ensure our children in care get the best chances in life.

Foster Care Fortnight, run by Suffolk County Council’s fostering team, is aiming to find at least 30 new foster families in Suffolk this year.

In the county there are about 780 children currently in care, 500 of which are living with foster carers and families.

That number is always growing and the needs of those children are ever-changing.

At any one time there are between 15 and 20 children waiting to move to permanent foster families, while others are living in children’s homes, placed for adoption or living back at home as part of a rehab plan.

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As children’s needs change the type of foster care they require also changes, putting pressure on SCC’s fostering service to recruit a wide range of families capable of covering emergency placements, short and long-term solutions, people specialising in fostering babies, teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups.

With a shortage of foster carers in Suffolk, the fostering team faces the undesirable option of having to place children with independent fostering agencies, which can result in them being moved away from their homes, friends and family.

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Over the next two weeks the team will be holding information events across Suffolk, with social workers and foster carers on hand to answer people’s questions.

Sue Lowndes, head of fostering at SCC, said: “Many people unnecessarily rule themselves out of fostering.

“There is no such thing as a ‘typical foster carer’, they come from a number of different backgrounds. The important factors are your experience with children and room in your heart and your home.”

This year Suffolk County Council aim to use Foster Care Fortnight as an opportunity to dispel the myths and stereotypes surrounding fostering.

And county councillor Graham Newman, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people’s services added: “We want 2011 to be the year that makes a real difference to the fostering situation in our county.”

n If you are interested in fostering call the team for more information on 0800 328 2148, visit www.suffolk or text the word ‘fostering’ followed by their name to 81400.

n Tell us your experiences of fostering. Are you a foster carer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to

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