Fostering in Essex

Children need fostering in Essex. If you’re new to fostering or already experienced, can you help? We offer locally-delivered training, 24/7 support and an active network of peer support groups.

Become a foster carer in Essex

If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer in Essex, choose to work with a leading fostering agency.

National Fostering Group is the largest independent fostering agency in the UK with superb agency coverage across all regions – meaning you have the support of a team close to you.

We have more than 20 years of experience and many, varied opportunities for you to foster a child. One of the most established fostering agencies, we work with local authorities to place children and young people in homes where they can thrive.

As a foster carer for the National Fostering Group, you get unparalleled access to professional support and excellent free foster carer training in and around Essex. We want you to thrive too, being the best you can be in your role as foster carer.

On top of this, our foster carers have a large and active peer network that includes several local support groups.

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A foster agency near you: Children First

Children First was founded in Basildon in 1999 to support foster carers and foster children across Essex, including Chelmsford, Basildon, Braintree, Epping, Chigwell and Harlow, and the wider South East. The agency is multicultural and aims to place foster children with carers from a similar culture. More than three quarters of children are in stable, long term placements.

A foster agency near you: Brighter Futures

Brighter Futures supports foster carers and foster children in Essex, including Chelmsford, Basildon, Epping, Chigwell, Saffron Walden and Harlow. It’s a small agency that works with an incredible 52 local authorities across the South and Midlands to meet the needs of children who can’t live at home. The team is collaborative and focuses on bringing out the strengths of the fostering family.

How much is the fostering allowance in Essex?

Our average foster carer pay is around £24,500 a year (£2,040 on average per month), which is far higher than the government’s recommended weekly allowance. For most foster carers in Essex, this will be tax free! Some types of fostering placement pay more than £35,000 a year. Foster carer pay doesn’t affect state benefits you’re currently receiving.

The support I receive from my Supervising Social Worker has been like a big hug to me, helpful and encouraging and extremely supportive. It gives you the resilience in what can sometimes be a challenging job to face another day.

Fostering is a very rewarding role and no two days are the same. The look of joy on your young person's face when they have a new life experience and you turn their life around is priceless!

Natalie, foster carer, Essex

Fostering in Essex: getting started

If you think you’d like to become a foster carer in Essex, your next step is to have a chat. You can book a call by using our enquiry form. After this, if you decide to go ahead with an application, this usually takes around 16 weeks and we’ll help you every step of the way. We’ll help you decide what types of fostering you want to do and we’ll even get you started with foster carer training.

Can I foster in Essex?

We are looking for foster carers in Essex. We welcome people from ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, physical abilities and the LGBT+ community. You can be single, married, a homeowner or a tenant. Your ability to care for and nurture a child is what really matters. If you’ve worked in sectors like education, the emergency services, care or healthcare, you’ll be especially suited to this role.

Fostering agencies in Essex

  • Established for more than two decades, National Fostering Group has teams (agencies) across the UK
  • Our leading fostering agency for the South East has been rated as OUTSTANDING by Ofsted
  • We have several local team offices to support you 24/7 in Essex and the surrounding area
  • Our foster carers have access to experienced practitioners providing therapeutic and educational advice
  • Our Heath Farm agency in nearby Whitstable is a pioneering centre of wraparound holistic foster care for children with complex needs
  • Our foster carers in Essex have access to many local foster parent support groups
  • You will receive a generous fostering allowance for a child in your care
  • People from all walks of life are suitable to become a foster parent
  • Many types of fostering are available, including emergency and long-term placements
  • You’ll get excellent free training on different aspects of fostering at a local venue

Fostering in Essex and the South East

Many children in Essex are waiting to be fostered. This amounts to hundreds across the South East. National Fostering Group has local offices across Essex and the South East, incorporating Basildon, Southend-on-sea, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-sea, Colchester, Braintree and Harlow.

When I first came here, it was different and my carers were different to what I had know. But from the moment I meet them, I kind of knew this is where I would want to stay.

James, foster child

Fostering statistics in the South East

Around 7,230 children live with a foster family in the South East. There are approximately 45,370 fostering households and 76,640 foster carers in England.

Sources: Department for Education, Ofsted

UK fostering

Our foster carers come from all walks of life. With training, support and a generous fostering allowance, they provide homes where children can thrive and experience the childhood they deserve.

More than 9,000 new foster carers are needed UK-wide to provide homes for children in need of a foster family. If you’re thinking of becoming a foster carer, now’s the time.

Source: The Fostering Network

Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group