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Increasing need for foster carers in Suffolk

Thursday, 22nd April 2010.

A shortfall in the number of foster carers in Suffolk has been growing over the last year.

Over the last year, significantly fewer people applied to foster while there has been an eight per cent increase in the number of children coming into care.

Suffolk County Council is now taking action to try to turn the situation around during 2010.

Last year, the council recruited 31 new foster carers. This year, at least 35 more people need to be found who are willing to take on this essential caring role.

The fostering service believes people may be more hesitant in applying to foster due to uncertainties created by the recent recession.

Not only has the service experienced a slow-down in new enquiries, but there has been a steady increase in the number of children coming into the care system, which has created a higher demand for foster carers from the county’s own service.

The council’s head of fostering, Sue Lowndes, believes this is due to a number of factors.

She said: “In Suffolk, we are following the national trend of an increase in the numbers of children coming into care. As social workers assess children’s needs, they are able to recognise the impact on children’s lives of families affected by alcohol, domestic violence and drug misuse.

"For some children, this may mean they need to come into care before things can improve to make it safe enough for them to return home. For most children coming into the care, foster care is the best option, so we urgently need to encourage more people to come forward and find out more about fostering a local child.”

If you would like to find out more about fostering for Suffolk County Council and for information on Foster Care Fortnight, which runs from 17 to 30 May, please call 0800 328 2148 or visit www.suffolkfostering.com.

Haverhill Online News

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