Suffolk Fostering and Adoption dispels common assumptions in drive to support county’s children

PUBLISHED: 08:35 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 08 June 2018

Foster carer Gary Peck   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Foster carer Gary Peck Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Fostering services in Suffolk have revealed that 25 new foster carers are needed each year for 11+ children alone, as more are encouraged to consider fostering.

Suffolk Fostering and Adoption, which is run by the county council, aims to encourage people to consider fostering no matter what their circumstances may be.

The team is aiming to dispel many of the assumptions surrounding who can and cannot be a carer, and raise awareness for the different types of fostering available.

Claire Gwatkin, practice manager with Suffolk Fostering and Adoption, said: “As a local authority we want Suffolk children to stay within Suffolk so they are looked after in their local networks, and as closely as possible.

“They need some continuity while the issues are happening within their family.”

She added: “11+ is the main group – we need to be growing that by 25 placements a year, and these are placements that don’t take into account other ages.”

The team said that each foster parents’ reasons for wanting to get involve vary – whether it is the inability of some to have children or ‘emptiness syndrome’ from parents whose children have grown up and left home.

Each child’s circumstances are also highly unique, whether it is as a result of health problems for family members or safeguarding issues.

Gary Peck has been fostering for a number of years with his wife Caroline, and is now an ambassador with the fostering service.

“It’s challenging, but very, very rewarding,” he said.

“These children come to us with quite a bit of baggage but you need to support them and let them know that you will be there for them.”

The team regularly encounters people who do not even consider fostering because they may work full time or be single which they assume prevents them from being able to, but a host of options exist including short-term and emergency fostering – fostering for a day or two to give parents and carers a break.

The process of finding out more information and applying is also fully supported by the team, and separate networks of other foster parents and carers.

Louise Rhodes, family support practitioner added: “It’s incredibly important – Suffolk children need Suffolk families, and the more people we can have come forward the better it will be for the children.”

To find out more call 01473 264800 or visit the website here.


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 Sudbury Mercury 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 Sudbury Mercury 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 Sudbury Mercury 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

Other popular content

32 minutes ago

Campaigners who raised £130,000 to restore bells at a Suffolk church have hailed a “momentous day” in the project following their installation.

20 minutes ago

A steampunk “extravaganza” is launching on the Suffolk coast, featuring curiosities with a Halloween twist.

44 minutes ago

Jurors have been sworn in for the trial of three people accused of murdering a 56-year-old Colchester man.

45 minutes ago

The only way is up for Tess Bell who has become an official supplier of hit TV show The Only Way is Essex just a year after starting her own events business.

Show Job Lists

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 5°C

Newsletter Sign Up

Sudbury Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24