Fostering service makes a passionate plea for more families across East Anglia to come forward.

Nationally, children in care need a growing number of new fostering families to provide stable, loving homes.

Figures by the Fostering Network showed an additional 610 foster families were needed in the East of England in 2017.

According to the Department of Education, last year alone, 115 more children came into care across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk than left.

Cheryl Jillions, Registered Manager at Little Acorns Fostering, has made an impassioned call for more families to consider fostering. Little Acorns recruits, trains, mentors and supports foster parents. Working closely with local authorities in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and surrounding counties, Little Acorns match children with the right families to meet their individual needs.

She said: “We really do need more people to come forward. Children and young people across the region need families to provide loving and supportive environments.”

For Every Negative Story, There Are Hundreds of Positive Ones

“The media focuses on the negative stories, which can put people off fostering. But for each negative, there are hundreds of wonderful stories. Children in care often have a stigma attached as they can come from difficult backgrounds. However, when a child goes from a difficult situation to being cared for by a loving family, the turnaround is amazing.”

“These children need a chance. Often coming from physically, sexually and mentally abusive backgrounds. They need people to step forward and help them. Our foster carers often comment on how satisfying it is helping a child or young person do something positive with their lives.”

“Without more families coming forward, more children will find themselves living a long way from their home, schools and friends. They can sometimes be split from their brothers or sisters which can have a negative effect on their behaviour.”

“Foster families perform an amazing service. These people are very special individuals who serve a valuable service in their communities. Put simply, foster parents can give children the upbringing they deserve and, as a result, enable them to become independent and positive, moving into adulthood.”

“Supported every step of the way, Foster Carers are not left to cope alone. Highly trained professionals will be holding their hand with a dedicated mentor, budding systems, support groups and access to our 24-hour helpline” added Mrs Jillions.