Many people thinking about fostering are concerned about the potential impact on their own children, and this can act as a barrier to becoming a foster carer. But here at Essex County Council we frequently hear from foster carers that their sons and daughters benefit hugely from being part of the support network offered to a fostering family.
One such case is Ellie Carlin, now 19, whose parents started fostering when she was five.
Ellie said: “I understood mum and dad were doing an amazing thing. It was like having another brother or sister, they felt part of the family.”
Recent figures released by Essex County Council reveal that foster carers aged over 50 make up 69 per cent of the total number that are fostering through the council today.
In North Essex, 73 per cent of County Council carers who live there are over 50; empty nesters who are using their life experience to look after vulnerable children. Now the council is urging more people like Lorna Broadhead, from Colchester, to come forward.