max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C


Suffolk/Essex: Foster Care Fortnight urges people to come forward and care for a vulnerable older child

10:51 14 May 2014

In Suffolk, around 720 children are in care, with more than half aged 11 or over. A recruitment drive in Essex is seeking to employ another 100 foster carers.

In Suffolk, around 720 children are in care, with more than half aged 11 or over. A recruitment drive in Essex is seeking to employ another 100 foster carers.


People in Suffolk and Essex are being urged to consider caring for an older child as part of the annual Foster Care Fortnight.


Foster carers and senior councillors in the counties have joined forces to encourage people to sign up to fostering services as the Fostering Network’s national campaign, which raises awareness of the shortage of foster carers, gets under way.

See our case studies here, where carers speak of the “hugely rewarding” experiences of caring for vulnerable children.

In Suffolk, around 720 children are in care, with more than half aged 11 or over. A recruitment drive in Essex is seeking to employ another 100 foster carers.

Both Suffolk and Essex county councils say they are committed to placing all cared-for children with registered foster carers so they can enjoy stable and fulfilling childhoods.

Foster carers can provide care on a short-term basis while permanent plans are made for children to return home to a birth family, to an adoptive family or another permanent foster family.

Carers can also provide care on a long-term or permanent basis where the child will be fully part of the carer’s family for the remainder of their childhood and throughout their adult life.

The majority of the 120 children that are currently not placed with Suffolk County Council foster carers are children over the age of 11, sibling groups or disabled children.

Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services at the authority, admitted some people may be reluctant to offer care to teenagers amid concerns of how they will cope and the challenges that it would bring.

“However those interested can rest assured that we will provide the local training and support needed, including someone being available 24/7,” he said.

“There are many foster carers and groups who can provide extra support and advice throughout the county, as well as fostering events and monthly newsletters so you can feel part of the Suffolk fostering community.

“Fostering is extremely rewarding, and I encourage all those who have an interest to do the right thing – come forward, contact the service and consider your options.”

In Essex, some 100 foster carers are needed. The county council is appealing for carers for teenagers, children with disabilities and sibling groups of three or more.

Children and young people in foster care have overcome “many challenges” in their lives and will need lots of support and understanding, said Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services.

He said: “Foster Care Fortnight is about challenging the stereotypes about who can and can’t foster and encouraging people of all backgrounds and skills to come forward. If you are interested in finding out more about fostering then call in to one of our many events for a chat and meet some of our existing carers.”

All foster carers receive full training, on-going support and a generous package of allowances and fees. Foster carers can be single or in a heterosexual or same sex partnership. You need a stable home but it can be rented.

No particular qualifications are necessary but foster carers will need to be available before and after school as well as in the school holidays (unless providing respite care only).

Call Suffolk County Council’s Fostering Service on 0800 328 2148 or visit

Call Essex County Council’s Fostering Service on 0800 801 530 or visit

Suffolk County Council’s fostering team will be at the following places this month offering further information:

Tesco Superstore, Cedars Link Road, Stowmarket: 10am-2pm, today (May 14).

Ipswich Library, Northgate Street, Ipswich: 10am-2pm, May 21.

Zipwire MTFC, 4 Airey Close, Lowestoft: 12noon-6pm, May 21.

Sainsburys Superstore, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich: 10am-2pm, May 23.

Essex County Council is holding recruitment events across the county, including:

Miami Hotel, Princes Road, Chelmsford at 11am on Saturday.

Essex House, Colchester Business Park, 200 The Crescent at 11am on May 24.

Experienced foster carers will also be available for informal talks at information stands at:

Chelmsford Town Centre, today (May 14).

Clacton Leisure Centre in Vista Road tomorrow (May 15).

Clacton Community Voluntary Service Office on Friday.

Colchester Waitrose in St Andrews Avenue on May 20.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Kieron Dyer shocked fans tonight when he quit ITV programme I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here’, before making a U-turn decision.

Roundabout at Ropes Drive West where the traffic light trial has been taking place

A trial switch off of the traffic lights at Ropes Drive west in Kesgrave will be extended into the new year, following feedback from the public.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

A barge on the River Gipping at Bramford around 1895. The road bridge and St Mary’s Church are on the left.

Beautiful countryside, with pleasant walks, fishing and picnic areas are how most now see the area around the River Gipping.

Cyber fraud suspect rebailed

A 32-year-old arrested on suspicion of conning an east Suffolk business out of more than £1million in cyber fraud has been re-bailed.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons, London. PA Wire

Families receiving tax credits and bobbies on the beat were given a reprieve as the chancellor moved to quieten his critics with an unexpected cuts U-turn.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24