Grateful to be sharing Aki’s story about what fostering meant to him

Councillor Stephen Burroughes, Deputy Cabinet Member for Children & Young Peoples Services with responsibility for Fostering and Adoption
Published: 23 May 2023
In celebration of Fostering Fortnight, I am honoured to hand over the column today to Aki. He will be sharing his experiences of being fostered in Suffolk.
Photograph of Councillor Stephen Burroughes
Councillor Stephen Burroughes

Fostering plays a crucial role in our society, providing children who are unable to live with their birth families with a safe and nurturing environment. It is a lifeline for many children who have had a difficult start in life. It offers stability, love, and support to children who need it the most, and can change the trajectory of their lives.

Aki's story is an inspiration, and I am grateful to him for sharing his journey with us. He offers a unique perspective into the life of a fostered child and highlights the importance of this essential service. So, let's hear from Aki and learn more about his experiences; 

How did it feel for being cared by Tracey?

The feeling of being cared for by Tracey is irreplaceable, since the first time I came to the house, she welcomed me into the family and treated me like one of her own sons. If it wasn’t for this wonderful woman, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Tracey is the reason why I got into college, she is the reason why I didn’t get permanently excluded from my school and she is the real reason why I took the right path in life. Throughout my whole journey with Tracey, she has made me feel safe, at ease and wanted.

How do you describe your experience of being fostered?

My experience being fostered is very hard to describe, there have been ups and there have been downs. The best advice I have is, be grateful for what you have and stay strong.

What was the best part of being cared for by Tracey?

There is no best part of being cared for by Tracey because every moment I'm with her is the best. Even when I'm at university, she checks up on me daily and makes sure I'm okay. Knowing that I'm always part of the family, wanted and being cared for will always be the best.

How were you welcomed into the family?

When I first came to Tracey, even though I was very difficult to handle, we always knew I'd be here for a long time. She introduced me to her family in the most comfortable way, she told me where everything I needed was, she explained the house rules and she even let me pick which room I wanted. Still to this day if I meet her new friends, she introduces me as her son. Next year will be a decade that I have been with her so there's a lot to remember.

How were you supported while living with Tracey?

While I was living with Tracey I was supported in every single way. She always supported my education, making sure I was up to date with my work and was attending lessons. She made sure I had everything a normal kid would have like paying for my phone bill and taking me and my friends out for fun activities. She has always supported my feelings, asking if I'm okay checking up on me and respecting my space. She supported me financially, she has supported my dreams, and she has supported my health, making sure I'm up to date with dentists and eye appointments etc

How does it feel to be at university?

It feels like a great achievement to be at university, but it does not stop there, the journey continues.

What would you say to someone who is worried about being fostered?

Coming from a man that has been in the foster system since a toddler, I would always say “be proud of who you are, even if you are different to other children, it’s good to be different, it is what makes you stand out to other people. There will be ups and downs, but people still care for you.

To find out more about Fostering with Suffolk:


call us on: 01473 264800

or email to register your interest.