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Children who need fostering

There are around 750 children in care in Suffolk.

The Suffolk Fostering Service is currently seeking families for:

  • children over the age of 11 years

  • sibling groups of 3, or those over the age of 8

  • children needing a permanent family

  • disabled children

  • unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

If you're able to care for older children and those with more complex needs, you can be eligible for our higher payments.

Children in need of fostering can be any age; from newborn babies, to teenagers. Some may have a learning or physical disability, or they may be brothers and sisters who want to stay together.

There are many reasons why children can't live with their own families, including abuse, neglect, addiction, physical or mental health issues, family breakdown, or seeking asylum in Britain. Sometimes children just need a short break, whereas others may need more long-term care.

Often a child or young person will be removed from the family for their own safety; then we may become responsible for their welfare. We try to put families back together, but there's rarely a quick-fix solution, and the child's needs must come first.

A child's previous experiences, twinned with the separation from their family of coming into care, can often result in them expressing their trauma, hurt and frustration through challenging behaviour, acting much younger than their years, and having difficulty in relating to others.

Providing a child with the everyday things they've missed out on means they can begin to feel safe and develop the relationships they need to start to understand themselves and what they've been through. Our training and support will prepare and equip you for this.

During the assessment process we'll work with you to decide the ages of the children and the different types of fostering that you and your family can offer.


Children and young people aged 11 and over

Whilst over half of our children are aged 11 and over, fewer people come forward to care for them. They're the group who're most in need, and have fewer opportunities to develop the sense of security and belonging they desperately need.

Many of our teenagers are already settled with their permanent foster family. However, others are still waiting for a permanent family, and at the moment may be living with carers on a short-term basis, away from their school and friends, or in residential care.

Read the profiles of some of our children by clicking the links below:

Please note: the above photos are not of the actual children profiled.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

The majority, though not all, of these children are boys aged between 14 and 18, with most fleeing Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea and Iraq.

They've seen significant trauma in their home countries, possibly having seen members of their family being killed. They'll likely have suffered further trauma in travelling to get here from their own country. They may have lost contact with, or lost their parents.

They will need considerable understanding and support to help come to terms with their past and losses, and to settle into a new country.

Children aged 5 to 10

Children aged 5 and over who're unable to return to their birth or extended family need the security of knowing they're permanently part of their foster family, until they're ready to leave home.

We hope they'll want to remain involved with their foster family into adulthood.

We need carers for this age group, especially for boys or sibling groups, who can offer a permanent home.

Read the profiles of some of our children by clicking the links below:

Please note: the above photos are not of the actual children profiled.

Children aged 0 to 4

At this age, the foster carer's role will often be to help the child move back home, or to a new family which may be via adoption.

We currently have many carers for children of this age range. 

If this is the age range you're considering, you'll need to be able to also offer care for school aged children, or you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You've professional experience of working with, or caring for, this age range (e.g. nursing, previous fostering or child minding experience)
  • You can offer to care for any child aged 0 to 5
  • You can care for 2 or more children

Existing carers

If you're an existing Suffolk County Council approved foster carer and would like to find out more about any of these children, contact your supervising social worker.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about fostering, or are interested in starting your journey as a foster carer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Contact us


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