Fostering & Adoption
There are around 850 children in care in Suffolk. Many would have come from chaotic, traumatic, abusive and neglectful circumstances. Some children may stay with family or friends but others will need a temporary home (Fostering) while assessments and decisions are made. Children may return to their birth families or family members. However when this is reunification is not possible children then need a new forever home (Adoption).
Adoption is an opportunity to give a child, who may well have had an unsettled and traumatic start to life, a loving family to belong to for the rest of their lives. Along the way there will be many challenges, but there will also be much joy. Adoption is the legal process through which a child becomes a full, permanent member of a new family. The adoptive parents become the child’s legal parents, with the same rights and responsibilities as for a birth child.
Fostering usually means offering a temporary home to children placed by social services, until they either return to the family home or move on to live with a relative, are adopted, or placed in a permanent foster placement.
Suffolk’s Current Need
Fostering – There are a range of children who need fostering. We are currently seeking families for:
- Sibling groups
- Children with complex needs
- Parent and child placements
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking children
- Children aged 5 to 10 years old
- Children aged 0 to 5 years old
Who can foster or adopt?
- You need to be aged 21 or over. There is no upper age limit, as long as you’re healthy enough and are expected to have the energy needed throughout their childhood.
- You can be single or married
- You can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
- You can have a faiths or no faith
- You don’t have to own your own house.
- You can be in receipt of benefits
What is important is your ability to provide a loving home to a child and give them the time and commitment they need.
There are several different types of foster care:
Emergency Foster Care Provides a placement for a child who needs somewhere safe to stay for a few nights.
Short-term Foster Care Provides a placement where a carer looks after a child for a few weeks or months while long term placement plans are made for the child.
Short-break Foster Care Provides pre-planned, regular placements for children who have disabilities, special needs or behavioural difficulties. It gives their parents or usual foster carers time to have a short break.
Respite Foster Care Provides a placement for a looked after child for a pre-planned short stay. This is part of the support service for foster carers and them the chance to have a short break. A fostering service must provide foster carers with respite. It will be clearly outlined in their policies.
Remand Foster Care Provides a placement for young people in England and Wales who are remanded by the court into care of a specially trained foster carer.
Parent and Baby Foster Care Provides a home and support for a new mother and her baby, to help the mother care for her baby in the long term. The mothers are typically very young.
Long-term and Permanent Foster Care Provides a long-term placement for looked after children. Not all children who cannot return to their birth families are adopted and some continue to have regular contact with their birth families. These children and young adults need a secure long term home until they reach adulthood.
Fostering an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC) Is where a non-British child has arrived alone into the country and claimed asylum, and is cared for by foster carers in the UK. Unless the child can be returned safely to their country of origin they will be allowed to stay in the UK until they are at least 18.
Kinship Fostering Provides a placement in which children who are looked after by their local authority are cared for by people they already know.
Special Guardianship Is a formal court ordered placement that allows parental responsibility to a grandparent, close relative or family friend.