How fostering works

Almost anyone can become a foster carer. We provide all the training, support and assessments to get you ready to foster.

Fostering is incredibly flexible. You can foster one weekend a month, full time, or something in between. Learn more by exploring the fostering options.

Essex County Council supports foster carers financially. You’ll receive very competitive rates with plenty of added benefits. On average, our foster carers earn £504.71 per week, per child. And Qualifying Care Relief means that most foster carers pay no income tax at all on their earnings. How much you earn depends on the type of care you provide and the age of the child in your care. Learn more about fees and allowances.

Anyone can foster. Never think that you are too old. We’re in our 60s and we thoroughly enjoy it.
- Debbie and Vic, foster carers

Almost anyone can foster

Nearly anyone can be a foster carer. What matters is you. And the most important thing is that you can provide the safe and stable home that a child needs.

You can foster if you’re over 21 and have a spare bedroom in your home. And you should want to make a difference to a child’s life.

Foster carers can be single, married or living with a partner. They can have their own children. They can have pets. They can be retired, age is no barrier. They can be disabled. They can identify as LGBTQ+. They can live in rented accommodation.

We need people with different backgrounds and experiences to match with the needs of children in our care. We will provide all the training you’ll need to support children in a safe and loving home. Learn more about what type of practical support you get.

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