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Rachael Daldry
“I have a new direction and purpose in life and I’m playing a part in helping young people. What could be better than that?” – Essex foster carer Rachael reveals how fostering gave her a new start.
Kim Christmas Tree
“Life had suddenly become one where dreams do come true, wishes were granted, and that the world can be a warm and loving place.”

I fostered a little 5 year old girl who had never experienced Christmas before. She knew there was a Father Christmas, but he’d never been to her house before as she was too ‘naughty’. She didn’t really get what it was all about and was a little bemused by it all.

She loved that the elves had come and decorated the house. Her face lit up when she saw everything. We took her to see the houses that had been decorated and she found it ever so magical, her eyes noticing every single detail, every star, every reindeer, every snowman.
Tina Pirie
Essex Couple speak about the importance of fostering children with disabilities.
Essex County Council have been successfully matching carers with foster children for over 50 years and need to recruit more foster carers to keep up with the rising demand. There is a particular need for more Essex foster carers who can provide homes for children with disabilities.
Christina (Tina) Pirie has been fostering for eight years with her husband Austin. The couple, who are both in their early 50s, started fostering when Tina was made redundant, and she wanted a career change.
Their foster children have learning and physical disabilities and have been with them since they were aged 15 and 18.
Tina said, “We wanted to foster because we have always had a big family; my auntie was a foster carer, so I grew up with foster children, and my own children had friends at school who were foster children.
Ruth and Geoff
Essex couple in their mid-60s urges residents to become foster carers, no matter their age.
While thousands of parents and guardians were waving off their young adults to university last month, the moment was particularly heart-warming for Ruth Archer and Geoff Stokes who faced the same milestone in their foster daughter’s life.
Essex County Council is today urging more people like Ruth and Geoff to consider becoming a foster carer. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, Essex foster carers are enabling young people to reach their full potential. For some, that may be giving them stability to concentrate on their studies, and for others, it can be instilling confidence in them to pursue their own happiness.
The couple from Rochford, who have been fostering for two years, credit their life experience to helping their own foster children who have had a traumatic start in life to develop into young adults, helping them to reach their potential and transform their lives.
Debbie
Essex foster carer Debbie urges residents to choose fostering as career, no matter what age you are.

While thousands of parents and guardians were waving off their young adults to University last month, the moment was particularly heart-warming for Debbie Finch who faced the same milestone in her foster daughter Lauren’s life.

Essex County Council is today urging more people like Debbie to consider becoming foster carers. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, Essex foster carers are enabling young people to reach their full potential. For some, that may be giving them stability to concentrate on their studies, and for others, it can be instilling confidence in them to pursue their own happiness.

Debbie from Basildon, who has been fostering for 21 years, credit’s her life experience, her family’s support, and the training by Essex County Council to helping her foster children who have had a traumatic start in life, developing them into young adults. Together they helped them to reach their potential and transform their lives.
Jo in her kitchen smiling at the camera
“Offering supported lodgings has totally enriched my life. I wake up every day and feel alive because I know I am helping young people” - Jo Chisholm
Fran
Children in care have often missed out on their childhood through trauma and neglect, many have also played a parenting role to their younger siblings and parents. Through nurturing and support foster carers can help a child to heal and give them a second chance at childhood. Single foster carer Fran, has been fostering for over 30 years. Fran currently fosters two girls aged 9 and 18. Fran is keen to provide her foster children with nurturing parental support so that they can focus on being a child again.
Fran said: “She had so much responsibility at such a young age. It breaks my heart to hear that she would often resort to begging neighbours for food. She even learnt how to ration food for them, ensuring that when they did have food that it lasted."
Debbie and Alison
Over the past year, there has been much concern across the UK about the impact of Covid on children’s physical and mental wellbeing. They have had disrupted routines, time away from school and missed opportunities to physically interact with friends due to the pandemic. Although only a temporary pause in childhood experiences, there is much concern over the long-lasting impact this period of increased anxiety may have on our young people. It has also highlighted the tragic fact that many children go hungry, unless fed at school.
Susie with her husband and daughter
Susie Williams, has been providing supported lodgings for 6 months to an 18-year-old. She explains why she wanted to get involved.

“Young people in care need support up to the age of 21, so that they have that transition to independent living.

"It’s more than just providing a home and support for independent living though. At that age family support and nurturing is still incredibly important. Especially when they may have suffered significant trauma and neglect or abuse. They need to be nurtured to achieve their goals in the future."

LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week

Wednesday 24 February 2021
Paul
Next week is LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week and we wanted to celebrate our foster carers from the LGBT+ community for the incredible care they provide to our children.

Our carers come from all walks of life, all genders and all ages because we know that what’s important is that they can offer the care, security and stability that a vulnerable child needs.

Read Paul and husband Gerry's story of fostering here.