Felixstowe: Foster mum speaks of heartache at abuse and neglect

A FOSTER parent today spoke of her heartache at the state some young people find themselves in after suffering years of abuse and neglect.

Tina Durrell, of Constable Road, Felixstowe, has been a foster parent along with her husband Gary for nearly five years, helping about 20 young people in that time.

The 45-year-old spoke out as figures show Suffolk’s desperate need for more foster carers to come forward.

She said children have come to her who are unable to use a knife and fork and others who rifle through rubbish bags for food after being neglected by their parents.

She said: “When they first come into care it is quite challenging for them.

“They still have a very strong bond with their parents even if they have been abused. It can be quite challenging because they feel a strong sense of loyalty despite being abused. It’s not always physical, it’s emotional abuse and bullying which reduces a young person’s self esteem.”

Data released by the Fostering Network has indicated there is currently a shortage of 8,750 foster carers across the country.

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Foster Care fortnight started on May 14 with the aim of increasing the number of foster carers in the country.

Mrs Durrell encouraged more people to become foster carers because she insists it is extremely rewarding when youngsters turn their lives around.

She added: “It’s just amazing how much they change once they accept you into their lives.”

? For more information about how you can become a foster carer, visit www.iwanttofoster.com