Could you become a foster carer?


Suffolk County Council’s Fostering Service have launched a series of campaigns to encourage more residents to become foster carers.

820 children currently live in care in Suffolk and there is an urgent need for more people to come forward to foster. The first campaign will focus on the need to recruit more foster carers for teenagers.

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Suffolk Fostering Service is the longest established provider of fostering services in the county, offering competitive fees, 24-hour support services and up to 21 days paid leave per year. 

The first campaign focuses on the real-life experiences of two Suffolk Fostering Service foster carers, Ethel from Ipswich and Sammy from Lowestoft. Teenagers in care have often gone through a great deal in their lives and this campaign aims to give an honest reflection of what it takes to be a foster carer and the rewards that can come as a result.

Ethel, a foster carer from Ipswich said:

“I foster teenagers because they are at an age where you can really engage with them and show them a more positive way forward. I feel proud and privileged that I’m fostering and caring for these children.”

The campaign is accompanied by a new promotional video which features both Ethel and Sammy, providing an insight into what it takes to be a foster carer for teenagers and the positive difference they make to a young person’s life.

The video addresses why the application process can be timely and thorough, with Ethel and Sammy both describing how the vulnerability of the children in care makes the time frame absolutely necessary. It also makes clear that the robustness and intensity of the process is equally there to benefit and protect the prospective foster carer, ensuring that they are fully prepared and certain of the commitment they are making.

Sammy, a foster carer from Lowestoft, said:

“Teenagers, whether they’re in care or not, can be challenging. My role is to give them the confidence they need to better themselves and improve their situation. One of the teenagers we cared for a couple of years ago now has her own flat, goes to college and has a good job. She came back to us and said we gave her the confidence to do that.”

Councillor Gordon Jones, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills said:

“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.

“It’s really important to get more people talking about foster care and I would encourage Suffolk residents to look at their own lives to consider whether they have the patience, compassion and the spare room required to provide a child with the secure home life they need.”

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Suffolk Fostering Service will be hosting several pop-up events across Suffolk:

  • Tuesday 24 October, 10:30am to 4:30pm, Ipswich Museum                
  • Saturday 11 November, 9:30am to 12:30pm, Stowmarket Leisure Centre
  • Saturday 11 November, 12 noon to 6pm, University of Suffolk, Ipswich