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Fostering

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

Essex Fostering is committed to providing the best service and support for children in care and their foster families. We've been matching children with foster parents for more than 50 years and we're proud to be rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted. As we oversee all children in care in Essex, our foster carers have the best chance of being paired with a child that suits their family.

Kim with her grandson

“I don’t see them as children with disabilities, but just children. My family is giving them what all children deserve - a happy childhood”

Kim Shears from Clacton has been fostering for 16 years on her own, and currently has two young girls with cerebral palsy in her care. Kim is keen to advocate that a lack of experience, or not having a large home, should not be barriers to coming forward. “I had always been reluctant to foster a child with disabilities as I didn’t feel that I had the relevant experience. Little did I know though, my first experience of fostering would reverse my opinion emphatically.
Nichola, Toni, Aaron and Ellie with their dog

“We don’t see them as special needs children – they are simply children with individual needs.”

Nicola and Tony Hanscomb from Wickford have been fostering for over a decade and currently have a 15-year-old boy with disabilities in their care. Toni is the main carer and initially felt apprehensive about looking after a child with disabilities. The couple agree that it’s the best thing they ever did. Tony says: “I quickly got used to the child and their individual needs. Plus, I have amazing support from Essex County Council. First aid courses, a caring social worker and plenty of support groups have all boosted my confidence and bolstered my experience.
David and wife, Marie

“Simply spending time with a foster child can make a big difference, as many haven’t experienced this before”

David and Marie had been providing respite foster care for a year but when David was made redundant and the country went into lockdown they decided to increase their involvement. “Upon reflection, being made redundant has had a positive impact as I’ve been able to afford these children my time and I’m more relaxed than ever."
Girl outdoors smiling at the camera

Online fostering information event

Saturday 31 October 2020 (11.00am to 1.00pm)
Boy with special needs writing letters while sitting at the desk in class room

Fostering children with disabilities: online info event

Tuesday 3 November 2020 (1.00pm to 2.30pm)
Family smiling and laughing in the kitchen

Fostering children with disabilities: online info event

Thursday 5 November 2020 (7.00pm to 8.30pm)