Why become a foster carer?
The dreams of some young people in care can be heartbreakingly simple; a sense of belonging and the love of a family.
Children in foster care need someone who can understand what they have been through, and provide them with the everyday things they may have missed out on; love, security, safety, warmth, fun, someone to show an interest and be there for them.
This is where you come in.
As a foster carer you can make a real difference to a child’s life, providing them with the nurturing home life they need to give them every chance of a happy childhood and to succeed in life.
Fostering is extremely rewarding, but can also be challenging. A child’s previous experiences of neglect, abuse, loss or trauma can often mean a fostered child will show their anger, hurt, and confusion through their behaviour and difficulties in relating to others. Through our training and support we'll help you develop the skills and expertise to be the therapeutic parent a child needs to thrive.
Fostering will also make a huge difference to your own lives. Through fostering you can:
- enrich your own family life by gaining new insights, interests and skills
- develop your own skills and career opportunities through support and training, including gaining Level 3 Diploma in childcare
- be part of a team- working with us, other foster carers, professionals and the child and their parents
Turning a child’s life around: more rewarding than ever
It could be for just a few weeks or months, or the remainder of their childhood; but if you're looking for a new challenge and are a patient, compassionate person, with a spare room, you could provide a child with the secure home life they need.
We hope that you'll take the next step to join the largest family in Suffolk, and to help provide a Suffolk child with the care they dream about.
Why choose Suffolk?
There are around 750 children in care in Suffolk, all of whom are the responsibility of Suffolk County Council.
Suffolk children are matched with our pool of approved foster carers before considering any other fostering providers. This means that:
our carers have local, Suffolk children placed with them
We know the children and the carers so we can match the right child to the right family
Children placed through private agencies are generally only our children with the most complex needs - this can be difficult for first time carers
You are unlikely to wait long before a child is placed with you
Your training and support groups are held locally
Your fostering social worker works locally and will know your locality well
People choose to be carers for lots of reasons. Fostering for your own local authority means you are supporting the children, teenagers and families from your own communities. We need carers for a range of children with all types of needs and we have different types of fostering.
The rewards are enormous - some of our carers have been fostering for over 30 years!
Support from us
Through training and support you'll find out about the types of behaviour to expect. You'll learn how to work through the trauma a child has experienced; to understand and help them learn to manage their feelings and behaviour, and move forward to a positive future.
You'll be a valued member of a wider professional, multi-agency team and will receive:
a dedicated local fostering social worker for your family who will visit and be in touch with you regularly for supervision and support
access to local, general and specialist support groups in Suffolk
24-hour support and advice from our Out of Hours team
an extensive range of training and learning opportunities, including courses, e-learning and accredited training such as the Diploma in Child care
local specialised support including health, education and therapeutic services
free membership to the Fostering Network who provide 24 hour confidential counselling service and legal advice helpline
membership of Suffolk Foster Carers Association
up to 21 days paid respite care each year for fostering placements
support from over 300 other Suffolk carers during your assessment process, and after you begin fostering
Find out about financial assistance we provide for foster carers.
"When I was 10 I wanted to give up on everything, then a social worker came and said they'd found some people who would like to foster me. I was scared at first, but then I met you and you never gave up on me!"
- Abbie, 17