Becoming a foster carer

There is no such thing as a 'typical' or 'standard' foster carer. Each different foster carer brings a wide range of life and work experiences.

ESCC foster carers are:

  • from a variety of backgrounds, circumstances, religions, ethnicities and cultures
  • single, married or cohabiting
  • all genders and sexual orientations
  • over 21 years old (there’s no upper age limit)
  • diverse and may manage a physical disability or mental health condition

If you have any questions, or want to find out if fostering could be the right choice for you, please get in touch via phone, enquiry form or join an online information session soon.

What you need

  • A genuine interest in helping children through a difficult time in their lives.
  • As a family, to have time in your lives and space in your home to care for a child or young person.
  • Experience as parents or of caring for children.
  • Energy and enthusiasm to keep up with the demands of an active child.
  • Patience, tolerance, resilience and good communications skills.
  • A warm and welcoming home, with or without pets (you do not need to own your home).
  • A spare bedroom so that the foster child has a space to make their own.
  • A positive and flexible approach to life, supporting our children to develop a strong sense of their own identity which may differ to your own (identity, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexuality, disability).

I listen and help them see positives, there are different ways to view a situation. With our help they can change the pattern and see their future. That's my job and I love it.

Jackie – foster carer for teenagers (for 23 years)

You’ll be part of a team alongside social workers and the children’s parents. You’ll attend meetings. You will take children and young people to health or education appointments. You might also work with a child’s school to help them attend or be able to learn.

You don’t need qualifications, but you do need to be willing to attend regular training. We offer a wide range of opportunities to develop your interests and skills.

Working with you, we will match the child with the foster carer. We will consider the child’s needs, your skills, experience and of course your family.

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In this film below, we see the story of siblings Sophie and Charlie. They are struggling to cope with their daily lives as children when they are neglected by the adult who should be there caring for them. Sophie seeks help at school and they go to live with a foster carer.  Their childhoods take a positive turn and they begin to thrive.

- A short film about how foster carers can give children back their childhood

Watch on YouTube: "A short film about how foster carers can give children back their childhood"