Norfolk charity urges more foster carers to come forward

The Break fostering team, from left, Hilary Walshe, fostering manager; Malcolm Griffiths, fostering

The Break fostering team, from left, Hilary Walshe, fostering manager; Malcolm Griffiths, fostering social worker; Jessica Eves, fostering social worker; and Liz Richards, communications and marketing officer. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

A charity which supports for some of the most vulnerable children in the region has issued an appeal for more foster carers to come forward.

Anne Olivant a respite carer for Break.

Anne Olivant a respite carer for Break. - Credit: Archant

Break has been caring for hundreds of young people and families in East Anglia for more than 45 years.

A team of 450 staff and more than 800 volunteers provide children in need a shoulder to lean on.

The charity, whose patron is Jake Humphrey, categorises its care into four areas - young people in care and moving on, children and young people with disabilities, families in need of support and children at risk.

The Break Therapeutic Fostering Service, which was launched within the last year, enables young people to live in a family.

On behalf of Norfolk County Council, Break provides residential assessments for families whose children are at risk, giving families the opportunity to prove that they can keep their children safe from harm, enabling them to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.

And the team are urging more foster carers to come forward, as well as social workers and respite carers from west Norfolk and Norwich.

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Hilary Walshe, manager, said: 'We need full time carers as well as carers who could offer respite care – one or two weekends a month and some days over the holidays. We are looking for people from all walks of life who are enthusiastic, caring and motivated – with a desire to learn.'

The Norwich-based charity holds fortnightly therapeutic support groups for carers, led by psychotherapist Jim Rymer.

He said: 'It is a place where we facilitate, in an open and friendly environment, a willingness to be curious about ourselves in the process of getting to know and understand these young people in our care.

'Through the group we reflect upon our own emotions and experiences and how these might impact upon the developing relationship, in so doing we better prepare ourselves to engage more fully with whatever problems and joys we experience along the way. '

Carers are also offered ongoing training and support from the team, as well as out of hours support.

Mrs Walshe added that potential carers didn't 'need to be an expert'.

If you are interested or would like more information, contact the fostering team on 01603 670110 or email

Information on vacancies and application forms are available from

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