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Foster agency renews appeal for more carers to come forward

PUBLISHED: 12:26 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:11 01 November 2018

Little Acorns Fostering agency in Haverhill. Left to right, Ana Freitas, Cheryl Jillions, Mick Jillions, Emily Shore and Jo Bilbow. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Little Acorns Fostering agency in Haverhill. Left to right, Ana Freitas, Cheryl Jillions, Mick Jillions, Emily Shore and Jo Bilbow. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk fostering agency is renewing its appeal for more people to come forward as carers to meet demand in the region.

More foster carers are needed in Suffolk Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoMore foster carers are needed in Suffolk Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Suffolk fostering agency is renewing its appeal for more people to come forward as carers to meet demand in the region.

Little Acorns Fostering, in Haverhill, says “one of the biggest obstacles” it faces is recruiting enough foster parents to plug the shortfall in the east.

The agency works closely with local authorities and social services in south Cambridgeshire, west Suffolk and north Essex to ensure children are placed with the appropriate family to meet their individual needs.

Little Acorns made a plea in June this year after it was revealed there was a significant shortage of foster parents in the east of England.

Despite an increase in people enquiring about the possibility of becoming foster parents since the appeal, Cheryl Jillions, registered manager at Little Acorns Fostering, is calling for more people to come forward.

“One of the biggest obstacles we face is being able to recruit enough foster parents to meet demands due to the horror stories that are reported,” she said.

“However, for each negative story that’s reported there are hundreds of wonderful stories that are rarely told and that is why we decided to go public with our appeal.

“Since we made the appeal we have seen a significant increase in the amount of enquiries and we have potentially seven new families registering with us if their assessments are successful.

“Although this is a good start we still need to recruit many more foster parents and is why we are renewing this appeal.”

Without more foster families coming forward, some children may find themselves living a long way from their home towns, schools and friends and being split up from their brothers or sisters, which could have a detrimental effect on their behaviour.

Restrictions on becoming a foster parent are few but people must have a spare bedroom.

“These children need a chance as they often come from physically, sexually and mentally abusive backgrounds and they need people to step forward and help them,” Mrs Jillions added.

“Our foster carers often comment on how satisfying it is helping a child or young person achieve happiness and doing something positive with their lives.

“These people are very special individuals who perform an invaluable service.”

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