Members of the public are being encouraged to find out more about fostering during Foster Care Fortnight 2016 which runs from 16 May to 29 May 2016.

A special fostering bus will be touring all over Essex where members of the public can meet current foster carers and the fostering recruitment team and get further information about this fulfilling role.

The bus tour will begin from County Hall on the first day of Foster Care Fortnight before making its way around the county. The full tour is as follows:

  • Monday 16 May, 10am – 2pm, County Hall, Chelmsford
  • Tuesday 17 May, 10am – 2pm, Festival Leisure Park, Basildon
  • Wednesday 18 May, 10am – 2pm, Water Gardens, Harlow
  • Thursday 19 May, 10am – 2pm, Tollgate Shopping Centre, Stanway, Colchester
  • Friday 20 May, 10am – 2pm, Freeport Shopping Centre, Braintree
  • Tuesday 31 May 10am – 3pm Gun Powder Mills, Epping
  • Tuesday 31 May, 8.30am – 5pm, Colchester Zoo, Colchester
  • Wednesday 1 June, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Braintree Discovery Park
  • Wednesday 1 June, 10am – 2pm, Riverside Leisure Centre, Chelmsford (stall only)
  • Thursday 2 June, 10am – 2pm, Maddison Heights, Maldon,
  • Thursday 2 June, 9am – 5pm, Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers
  • Friday 3 June, 10am – 3pm, Colchester Castle Museum
  • Friday 3 June, 10am – 2.30pm, Basildon Sporting Village
  • Saturday 4 June, 10am – 3pm, Maldon Promenade

Foster carers play a vital role in providing homes for children, who for a variety of reasons, cannot live with their birth families. The County Council needs to recruit at least another 40 foster carers in 2016 and there is a particular shortage of carers who are able to provide homes for teenagers, children with disabilities and complex health needs and large sibling groups.

There is no ‘typical’ foster carer and applicants from people of all walks of life are welcomed. To foster you will need empathy, understanding and resilience for this demanding yet very rewarding role. You’ll need a spare bedroom, to be available before and after school and in the school holidays and have a passion for spending time with children and young people and helping them to achieve their potential.

In return Essex County Council offers full training, career development, excellent support and a competitive financial package.

In addition to the bus tour there will also be four information events during Foster Care Fortnight:

  • Sunday 22 May, 2.30pm, Miami Hotel, Princess Road, Chelmsford, CM2 9AJ
  • Tuesday 24 May, 7pm, Holiday Inn, Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, SS14 3DG
  • Wednesday 25 May, 6.30pm, Essex House, 200 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, CO4 9YQ
  • Thursday 26 May, 7pm, Latton Bush Centre, Southern Way, Harlow, CM18 7BL

Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for said: “This Foster Care Fortnight is a great opportunity to come and chat to us about the children who need foster homes and the support and training that we can offer. Why not come and speak to us on our bus tour or register for one of our information events?”

To find out more about fostering please call 0800 801 530 or visit 

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