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Danielle follows in mum’s fostering footsteps

Danielle smiling

Tuesday 3 October 2023

This October we are recognising ‘Sons and Daughters Month’ by highlighting the positive experience and contribution of children who have grown up alongside foster children at home.

The council is urging carers from all backgrounds, including those with children of their own, to consider offering a safe and nurturing home for a vulnerable foster child in care.

Danielle from Clacton, north-Essex, enjoyed growing up alongside foster children and she has since been inspired to become a foster carer herself.

Danielle said: “I absolutely love fostering with my own family. My husband and I have a daughter aged 13 and son aged 9, and we’ve been fostering together for 11 years. We love being a big, busy family. We treat the foster children as part of our family, we’re always there for them.

“Growing up in fostering family was a positive experience for me. It was always lovely to see the difference we made to the lives of other children. Now our children have learnt a lot of skills and experienced different cultures, and it’s been eye-opening for them to see a different side to life, which is really paving their path into adulthood. I think it’s more likely to encourage them to help others as they grow older. It’s character building too, and already our son has said he’d love to adopt when he’s older.”

 Danielle’s mum, Fiona, began fostering when Danielle was 7 and her younger daughter was 4. It was Fiona’s lifelong dream to offer a home for vulnerable children and, after having her two daughters, she took the decision to leave work and become a foster carer full-time.

Speaking about her experience, Fiona said: “When you already have children, it’s so important to get the right match for your family. Essex County Council support us as a family including our children and carefully matched children to us.

“It’s lovely to see my daughters have been inspired by a childhood spent with foster children. My youngest now works in social services, and Danielle continues to love fostering. They are so supportive and both have offered sleepovers for the foster children when I’ve needed it.

“Fostering is such a rewarding role. It’s a career but it’s also a way of life, a way of being. I’ve always enjoyed it, even during challenging times. We help the foster children, but they help us too – there’s nothing quite like it.”

The council need to recruit more foster carers every year to offer children safety, security and a nurturing home where they can thrive. It is urging carers from all walks of life to step forward. The council offers a variety of fostering opportunities including long-term, part-time and weekend care.

Councillor Beverley Egan, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Early Years said: “When parents are welcoming foster children into the home, children often play a crucial role and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. It is wonderful to see the positive impact that fostering has had on Danielle, and that fostering continues to benefit her young family today.

“Fostering is open to everyone from all family types, including those with children. If you’re able to provide a loving, stable and supportive home to vulnerable children, we urge you to consider becoming a foster carer.”

Essex County Council provide unrivalled support, training and a financial package of on average £526.34 per week, per child tax free. There are many different fostering options available and you have the opportunity to transform a child’s life from as little as a weekend per month.

Essex County Council has a series of Fostering Information Events across Essex, come along to talk with foster carers, find out about the children needing foster care and ask any questions:

  • Wednesday 4 October, 7.00pm to 8.30pm – Online
  • Saturday 14 October, 10.30am to 12.30pm - Greenstead Library
  • Saturday 21 October, 10.30am to 12.00pm - Online
  • Saturday 28 October,10.30am to 12.30pm - Maldon Library

Everyone is welcome to join us to find out more about fostering. Events details and further information can be found on our events page.