How you can help change a child's life

By Nub News Reporter

26th May 2024 | Opinion

Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services was delighted to see Bluey and Owl.
Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services was delighted to see Bluey and Owl.
Opinion piece by Cllr Bobby Bennett, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Services.

ON Saturday last weekend I joined some of our amazing foster families at our annual Foster Walk as part of Foster Care Fortnight.

It was a brilliant day walking around Christchurch Park in Ipswich with lots of fun along the trail for the children to enjoy. The walk was followed by a picnic with games and crafting activities. Luckily the weather was kind to us and the sun shone throughout.

Popular CBeebies character Bluey even made an appearance and was a big hit with the children!

CBeebies character Bluey made an appearance at the Foster Walk, along with Suffolk Fostering Service's Owl, Unity.

It was a wonderful experience, with more than 30 families joining us. I really welcomed the opportunity to meet with a number of our fostering families, to hear about their stories, and to understand more some of the rewards and challenges that fostering a child can bring.

This is where fostering with your local council can help.

Suffolk County Council's fostering service is the largest in Suffolk and unlike independent fostering agencies, it is a non-profit organisation.

Whereas independent fostering agencies tend to be regional or even national, Councils are local. By fostering with your local council, you are supporting children, teenagers and families from your own communities. This means you are helping to minimise the disruption to their lives: staying local means that children can have the opportunity to continue to attend their usual school, see their friends and family members, and participate in their usual activities, whilst having the support they need in a safe home environment.

Because we know our children and our carers, we can take care to match the right child to the right family, where they can thrive.

Our fostering service provides 24/7 support to our carers. You will be allocated a dedicated fostering social worker and your training and support groups will be held locally.

What you may not know, is that all Suffolk children in foster care are placed via Suffolk County Council in the first instance. This means that by fostering with your local authority you are unlikely to wait long before you are caring for a child.

There are around 900 children in care in Suffolk. We are committed to securing families for these children either on a short-term or long-term basis.

We are always looking for foster families for children of any age, including sibling groups, however we do currently have a particular need for carers to look after teenagers who are 11+. Welcoming a young teenager into your home means becoming their role model and guide. You will help them navigate their teenage years through to their independence.

People choose to be carers for lots of reasons. I'm proud to say that some of our carers have been fostering with us for over 30 years!

We don't need perfect families, we're just looking for anyone with a passion and an ability to provide the children in our care with love, patience and a sense of belonging.

If you think that could be you, and you would like to find out more about Fostering with Suffolk County Council, please visit our website: or call us on 01473 264800.

As part of our Foster Care Fortnight celebrations, we've been sharing your #FosteringMoments stories on our social media channels. Thank you to those who have shared their stories with us so far, we have loved hearing about the moments that have mattered to you the most, whether it's the moment you were approved as a foster carer, or the moment a young person in your care hugged you for the first time.

There's still a week left, so please do keep sharing your stories - you can get involved by emailing your fostering moments to us at [email protected]

Write a few sentences sharing your fostering moment and share your photos with us, or take a short video sharing your fostering moment. We will be sharing these on our Suffolk Fostering Service page on Facebook.

And if you're heading to the Suffolk Show next week, do come and visit us! Suffolk County Council will be there both days at stand Blue 194 on Flower Show Avenue.

Our Foster and Adoption Team have some Arts and Craft activities for children and will be delighted to speak to anyone interested in fostering or adopting a child. They'll be just in the entrance to our tent, so you can't miss them!

Our Suffolk Fostering mascot, Ollie the Owl, will also be taking part in the annual mascot race, which is always a highlight of the show!

It'll be a show to remember, and I'm really looking forward to seeing you there!


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