There is currently a shortage of foster parents in Essex. Essex County Council is trying to encourage people to consider taking in a foster child. Currently Essex CC places around 400 children a year in foster homes. When a local home is not available children often have to be relocated far from friends, school and their home.
If you are accepted as a foster parent you will need to attend meetings that are held during the day, so time off work is needed in the early stages. You receive full training to learn what is required from both parties. Foster parents receive a financial package that is worth up to £430 per week, or £22,360 a year for long-term foster parents. There are also tax exemptions.
Of course, the real reason to foster a child is to help improve the life prospects of the individual and care for them while they cannot live with their natural parents.
“Single people, as well as married couples, can adopt or foster a child. Applicants wishing to be approved will be considered irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. You must, however, be in reasonably good health.” – Essex County Council.
There is a fostering information event at Chelmsford’s Baptist Church on Wednesday October 10th at 7pm. You can also learn more by calling the Adoption and Fostering department at Essex County Council on 0800 801 530 or by visiting Essex Adoption and Fostering. They also can be contacted by email ([email protected]).