The Essex Foster Association was formed in the mid 1970s as the Essex Foster Parents Council. Before its formation the voice of foster carers in Essex came from nine separate foster parent associations based in the major towns. It was seen that advantage of a central council was the ability to move away from presenting to Essex County Council, the fragmented, duplicated, and sometimes conflicting views of foster carers and enable their views and concerns to be consolidated and prioritised, achieving significant changes on behalf of foster carers.
Early successes were:
- Movement of allowances and fees towards the minimum standards recommended by the Nation Fostering Association. Currently the recommendations are automatically applied with increases backdated as appropriate
- After initial resistance, foster carers were allowed to participate in case reviews
- Negotiated mileage payment to carers for special journeys
- Worked with the service to improve procedures and forms for claiming expenses.
As the Association continued working with Essex, further successes included:
- The introduction of specialist carers
- Improving liaison between fostering teams to ensure the children are placed without undue delay
- Improvement of training, especially for new carers
- Payment for carers when participating in training of other carers and sitting on panels
- Clarifying home insurance requirements.
In recent years the contact with Essex has changed from the formal meeting concept, to one of greater collaboration with direct representation in Essex County Council's development team meetings. This gives the opportunity to apply influence in the early stages of development of new initiatives and planned changes. Mostly inputs given are reflected in the final decisions. Where issues need to be resolved, direct contact is made, again in collaborative mode to the relevant people and managers
Also the Essex Foster Carers Association have become more proactive in their work with foster carers, and the three key areas are; resource centres, events for looked after children and birth children of foster carers.
Meet the Trustees
Helen Cornwall is Joint Chair with Amanda Stevens for the Essex Foster Carers Association and has been fostering since 2010. She is your contact for West Quadrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helen likes cooking, running, and catching up with friends (when time allows) and highly recommends jumping out
or an aeroplane.
Amanda Stevens has a number of roles with the Essex Foster Carers Association! She is Joint Chair, Treasurer, and
Quadrant lead for South, you can contact her on email@example.com
Amanda has been Fostering since 2006 and enjoys reading, sewing and going out.
Cheryl Cousins has been fostering since 2011 and in her spare time enjoys art and craft. Most of the amazing Hampers are her design! Cheryl is your contact for Mid Quadrant firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Bell has been Fostering since 2002 for Mid and loves to look into Family History and has gone back as
far as the 1400 she also enjoys Rugby and Art. Sue and Malcolm have had the privilege of having Grandchildren
(not biological) and attend weddings. Sue is your contact for North Quadrant email@example.com
Vicki Morrison started Fostering with her husband back in 2015 after leaving her career as a Trainee Solicitor/Legal Executive. She is now a single Carer and absolutely loves fostering for The West Is Best Fostering Team!
When Vicki has time she tries to keep active by walking as she loves nature. She love travelling to see new places around the World and have so many hobbies and interests really as she is very open minded and will give things a go!
A memorable moment (In Fostering) was when Vicki's FC teenager was so excited to be “blue lighted” to hospital and secretly, she was excited too as it was her first time too!
A memorable moment in Vicki's life was finding out she was 4 months pregnant with her daughter when having a routine monthly scan after a huge ovarian tumour removal and being told she could not have children!
Karen Reynolds is no longer a Trustee, but does an amazing job at Fundraising! If you see a poster from the EFCA it's probably been designed by her!
EFCA Financial Accounts