We asked our foster carers why they choose to foster for Thurrock. Here's what they said.
"The reason we love fostering for Thurrock is that it's a small authority. Everyone knows one another so there's lots of support and we get lots of training as well. There's always someone that will be able to help you and where we all know one another we can all help one another with different experiences."
"I think there's a lot of children in Thurrock that need a home and there are wonderful people out there that are missing out not giving this wonderful home to them. And Thurrock I think, believe we have around 325 children at the moment in foster care and they're a lot of children that need a home and if you're willing to share your home you can just get loads of rewards from the children because they're wonderful."
"If you just give them what they need and that's love patience, understanding, support and I believe that there are people out there that can make a difference for Thurrock and for the children from Thurrock."
"Me and my wife looked into fostering before. We went to several different councils. I don't live in Thurrock. We looked at several different councils and they all seemed to have had negative attitudes whereas we went to an open evening at Thurrock and we found that Thurrock's policies were a lot better and they were more open and honest about the challenges and things that you can come up against being a foster carer."
"Well if someone's going to choose to foster in Thurrock I think its a good thing. It's not a charity but if you give back, I mean, if you've got the space – the physical capacity, the emotional capacity and the heart space – I think, you know, if you have that space then you can make a difference to somebody's life then I think go for it, really. Don't stop, because there are children out there who need a good home. You know, it's not just a bed space but your personal space. If you can make a a difference to somebody's life, then by all means give it a try, I think."
"So I think about the actual support you get, I mean I was a foster carer before for a local authority but I didn't get clinical supervision and we had foster's support group once a month but we have team meetings. You are inundated with training. You can go on foster carer's training. You also have available to you training that social workers go on. I mean also as a therapeutic carer. I did a course at university on attachment so I think in terms of looking at support you get a lot of support and I think if you come to Thurrock you will definitely get that."
"I think to choose to foster for Thurrock, obviously I went straight to Thurrock because it was a local authority for myself but the training and the support that I have had as a foster carer for Thurrock has been immense."
"Just absolutely loved it. Really loved it!"