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Dedicated foster mother comes from long line of carers

A dedicated foster mother has said caring for children is in her blood - as both her mother and grandmother also took in youngster.

Sue Farrell, aged 62, is set to be honoured today alongside husband John after spending almost half their lives - 30 years - looking after children in care at their home in Keresley, Coventry.

Some of the children looked after by Sue's family over the years Credit: BPM Media

She said her grandmother started fostering around 1953, sometimes taking in up to six children at a time.

Fostering was something that was in the family and it was taken for granted it was what we would do, so we started in 1984.

We had two children at home but decided it was something we would do.

We have looked after approaching 100 children now - from long-term placements to emergency day care.

They will be honoured at a special ceremony at the city council offices today.


Honour for couple who have been fostering for 30 years

A couple who have been working as foster carers for 30 years will be honoured today for their dedication to helping young children.

John and Sue Farrell have welcomed almost 100 children into their Coventry home over the past three decades.

Sue and John Farrell have been fostering for 30 years Credit: BPM Media

Their hard work and generous spirit will be celebrated at a ceremony to be at the city council offices today by the KEEP programme, which teaches and supports carers.

Head of the Coventry KEEP programme, Linsey Rowe-Martin, praised the pair's dedication.

They really are a gentle, kind and committed couple.

The award is to recognise the hard work they have put in over the years making a positive difference to so many children, and to acknowledge their openness and commitment to continue learning.

Number of children in care continues to rise - charity

The number of children being put into care is continuing to rise. The Fostering Network says there is a shortage of foster carers, particularly for teenagers, and siblings.

Joy and Steven Jelfs from Burbage in Leicestershire, have three children of their own, and foster two sets of siblings between 10 and 18 years old. Steve considers fostering to be a rewarding experience.


Action for Children: 'Urgent need to tackle fostering misconceptions'

The charity Action for Children is warning the Midlands is facing a shortage of 1,450 foster carers this year.

The charity says they are 'on course for a crisis' and are encouraging more people to consider fostering one of the 5,200 children in care in the region.

With myths preventing people from coming forward, and the public not knowing the true extent of just how many children are currently in care, we are on course for a crisis.

There is an urgent need to tackle these misconceptions to move children into loving homes so they have the stability they need.

With the UK's population at an all-time high, sadly the number of children coming into care will continue to rise, and so will the need for carers.

– Mark Kingston, Action for Children
  1. Lee Comley

Foster Care Fortnight

There are thousands of children in the care system in the Midlands but foster places are always in short supply. As part of foster care fortnight councils across the region are holding recruitment drives to find more carers.

Central News has been spoken to one inspirational foster mother who's already looked after more than 50 children - and to one of the young people whose life she turned around.