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Foster carers help build better, brighter futures for hundreds of children across Essex every year.

Maria and husband

“Foster children can make you feel so proud when they do well. If I can make a difference to one child, then I feel I have done a good job,”

Full-time mum Maria Ledgerton has been looking after foster children for seven years since the youngest of her two children was 15. It was a radio interview about fostering on Dream 100 that sparked her interest. Having adopted her niece, now 25, she already had a positive relationship with social services and knew fostering could be the job for her. Following the interview, it wasn’t long before Maria, 46, and husband Phil, 55, were caring for their first foster child – an eight-year-old girl who, backed by the Ledgertons, has excelled at school.
Foster carer, Paul, with toddler

‘It was my birthday and she just walked up to me, gave me a hug and said she loved me’

For more than a decade, South Essex foster parents Paul Ilett and husband Gerry Murnane have changed the lives of children in their care and now they are urging others to give a child a home. In 2020, up to 500 children in Essex are expected to come into care. Essex County Council needs new foster carers to help change these children’s lives. Paul and Gerry have seen first-hand how welcoming a child into your home and hearts can turn a young person’s life around. “One of our foster children has been with us for seven years. She’s now 17 and is at college.
Boy with special needs writing letters while sitting at the desk in class room

Fostering information stand: Loughton, Harlow

Sunday 8 March 2020 (9.30am to 1.00pm)