Skip to main content

‘We wanted to give them the happy childhood that our children had’

Image of Marie and David Bullock

Monday 29 April 2024

‘We wanted to give them the happy childhood that our children had’ – Essex County Council encourages families with children to consider fostering this Foster Care Fortnight

Essex resident Marie Bullock sharing her story to inspire other families to give fostering a go.

This Foster Care Fortnight, which takes place 13 to 26 May, Essex resident Marie Bullock is sharing her story to inspire other families to consider welcoming foster children into their busy homes.

There are a wide range of flexible fostering options for all households which can be rewarding for the whole family.

Marie said: “My husband David and I felt we could do something to help other children and families that need support. We have four children of our own, and we’ve absolutely loved bringing them up. Every child deserves to have a happy childhood, and we wanted to give children in care some of what our children had.

“Our four boys have been brilliant throughout our five years of fostering. Our eldest is now 27 and goes to university, our 24-year-old works and lives at home, and our two younger sons live at home and go to school. They all understand why we foster and they are happy for us to be able to support children in care.

“Our youngest son, who is nine, particularly enjoys having children here to interact with. He has built solid friendships with the children who have stayed with us.”

Marie and David’s youngest son, Joshua, said: “My favourite thing about fostering is that I can play with the children, and that makes us all happy.”

Marie said: “The children really become part of the family, and we maintain a connection with them even after they have moved on. We visit them and they come over to us.

“Fostering has been so rewarding. It’s a very busy household, and it’s lovely to see the children come to us and develop. We’ve given them experiences that they’ve never had before like going to a zoo, going on a train, or even sitting around a dinner table and eating a meal as a family. We’ve been able to take them out for a meal in a restaurant for the first time.

“We love being able to include the children in our family and the things that our children do. We have brilliant friends who invite us to their events as one big family.

“The different fostering options and flexibility means we can fit it around our children at home. We plan lots of activities for the children and it’s a pleasure to have them stay, whether for a weekend or a couple of weeks.

“Our social worker knows us as a family and what is best for our children, so they’re really good at deciding which children would be the best fit for us.

“The training and support that we receive from Essex County Council is absolutely amazing. The social workers, therapeutic fostering team and outreach workers all come together and support us when we need it, and we have access to as much training as we’d like. Essex County Council have been so supportive and responsive to our needs as a family.

“There are different types of fostering to suit every household, and Essex County Council are always on hand to support the whole family. This gives almost any family the opportunity to make a positive impact on a child’s life!”

Everyone is welcome to learn more about fostering and how it could fit into their lifestyle. Visit or call 0800 801 530 to find out more.


For more information, please contact

Notes to editors:

You can attend a fostering information event to learn more about fostering, meet foster carers and ask any questions:

  • Essex County Council needs to recruit 60 new foster carers each year for the next 3 years.