Urgent appeal for Suffolk foster carers

SOCIAL service bosses in Suffolk are urging more foster parents to step forward and help the growing number of youngsters in the county in care.

Craig Robinson

SOCIAL service bosses in Suffolk are urging more foster parents to step forward and help the growing number of youngsters in the county in care.

Today sees the start of Fostering Fortnight and those in charge of ensuring the region's children are properly looked after are using the opportunity for a recruitment drive.

The Suffolk Fostering Service currently has 395 approved foster carers including specialist link carers providing short breaks for children with additional needs.

However with more than 700 youngsters in the care of the county council - and around 475 of these in foster homes - more individuals are desperately needed.

As a result they are trying to recruit 40 new carers this year who are interested in fostering all children from babies to teenagers for short or long periods.

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They are keen to hear from all communities in Suffolk as there are many children who need foster care that are from diverse backgrounds.

Suffolk Fostering Service will be launching its own campaign tomorrow to coincide with national Fostering Fortnight.

Social service chiefs will be at county council headquarters at Endeavour House for the arrival of the “Ad Van” - which will tour around Suffolk and provide information on fostering and the challenges it has to offer.

Patricia O'Brien, portfolio holder for children, schools and young people's services at Suffolk County Council, said: “Foster carers have an extremely important role to play in giving children in care the best possible start in life.

“Children in care can benefit enormously from the chance to experience a stable family life.

“So if you are a good listener, resilient, flexible, and optimistic, have a good sense of humour, and have space in your life to take up the rewarding challenge of fostering then why not visit one of the many information events taking place throughout Suffolk over the next fortnight.”

If you are unable to attend one of the events in your area or want more information call 0800 3282148.