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Why should I foster?

Little girl smiling, holding hands with grandad

Fostering changes lives, for both the child and the carer. 

Many foster children have a difficult start in life. By taking in a child and giving them a safe, stable and nurturing home – perhaps for the first time – you could set them on the path to a better future.

Essex County Council needs more carers to help look after the 750 children we place in foster homes every year. By offering a local child a home, you will ensure that they can live nearer to their family and friends, and will not have to disrupt their education by changing schools.

Helping vulnerable children

Fostering, like any worthwhile job, can be tough and demanding, but the potential returns are huge. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you have made a difference, and helped a vulnerable child grow into a happy, confident young adult.

You will also have the chance to develop your own skills and knowledge. Our training courses will not only equip you to be an effective foster parent; they will provide you with transferable skills you can use to enhance or change your career. The parenting skills you learn could also improve your relationships with other people, even your own birth children.

Lasting bonds

Most foster children move on within a short time, either back to their birth families or to adoptive ones. That said, in their time with you, foster children can genuinely become like part of your family. And such bonds can last a lifetime. Many of our carers continue to see and hear from their previous foster children and, in time, get to meet their children.

Money is rarely the driver for would-be foster parents. To most people, fostering is a vocation. However, you may be surprised by the level of the financial rewards we offer. Our rates are very competitive and will adequately cover your foster child’s needs and your own costs.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer with us, please call 0800 801 530. We are particularly looking for people who would like to look after teenagers, children with disabilities, and sibling groups.

or to talk to our friendly recruitment team call 0800 801 530

Every 20 minutes a child comes into care in the UK, needing a foster home. Source: The Fostering Network

“When I first met my foster family I was nervous and didn’t really know how to behave in a family environment. But it changed a lot and I learned how to be in a family and what love was like.” Shellie, an Essex County Council care leaver.

“All children have a right to a home, warmth and attention. I would encourage everyone to consider fostering.” Annette, Essex County Council foster carer since 2016