Going in to see the team at EFS is like stepping into a warm bath. Warm and welcoming and it is obvious they care greatly about the children and carers.Foster carer
We are a small team here at Eastern Fostering Services. Between us, we have a wealth of experience which enables us to support our carers skilfully. Our social workers care deeply about the families they support and this is made evident in the stable and successful placements our children enjoy.
You can see what the children think about us by looking at our community page and scrolling to the bottom!
Eleanor is a one off! Famously set on a course for social work after being asked to leave school for “not really fitting the mould”, she quickly knew she wanted to focus on work with children and families. Moreover, with 25 years’ experience in this area and a desire to see children living happy, settled lives, Eleanor is the driving force behind Eastern Fostering Services. Eleanor is Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Within fostering, Chris has held positions such as a Reviewing Officer, Practice Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, Registered Manager and Operations Manager. He now works closely with many Local Authorities and Independent Fostering Agencies throughout the UK and is Agency Decision Maker for Eastern Fostering Services.. Originally from Manchester, Chris now lives in Merseyside with his partner. When not working, he is usually reading, away taking photographs for various charities or hiking with his partner and two dogs, Clyde and Ossie.
When it comes to Eastern Fostering Services, Chris says,
“The work that fostering families and their Supervising Social Workers do to support and care for children and young people is amazing. I know……. I was one of those children many years ago (things were very different then!). As the ADM I get to read every assessment and review. I am constantly amazed by the knowledge, experience, and dedication that our foster carers at EFS bring to the role. Their enthusiasm, selflessness and commitment to children is truly humbling. I am also constantly reminded of the commitment, motivation, and enthusiasm that newly approved foster carers show when engaging in the assessments process. I also get to work with wonderful managers, Supervising Social Workers, and administrators within EFS, as well as a fantastic panel………I feel pretty lucky, what’s not to like?”
Sarah has over 15 years’ experience in fostering administration support. With her organisational skills and dedication to the children and carers, Sarah is worth her weight in gold. Our carers will tell you the same themselves! Sarah loves the countryside and animals and in her spare time can be found in her garden and going for long walks.
Sandra is our Senior Supervising Social Worker. Indeed she has over 15 years’ experience working with children in residential care and foster carers. She is a highly valued source of wisdom and fostering support to our carers. Having coached ladies’ football for 4 years, these days Sandra prefers to watch from the stands. She is a keen supporter of Ipswich Town. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.
Jo is in her element dicing with danger doing extreme sports. But when she’s not throwing herself out of planes, she puts all her passion into improving the lives of children. To this end, during her career in social work, she has built up 10 years’ experience of working with children, young people and families. Jo is based in Cambridgeshire where she recruits, assesses and supports foster carers. Jo is Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Meet Emily, our Placements’ Officer. If you’re approved as a foster carer, you’ll get to know Emily very well. Emily’s career embodies her commitment and passion to the children and foster carers we support. She started out in neonatal nursing before moving to a charity supporting parents of children who were struggling with mental health difficulties, offering parent support groups and facilitating training. She came to EFS after working in a Local Authority children’s residential home.
She lives in Suffolk with her family which includes 3 children and Ted, the Airedale terrier. Music is another passion of Emily’s and she gets to as many concerts as she can fit in to her busy life. When she does get a moment to herself, she enjoys channeling her creativity into baking. We feel another Bake Off is well overdue!
I have been a qualified social worker since 2017 and started my journey in Essex and later in Norfolk, working with children in care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, and fostering recruitment. I moved to Norfolk with my partner and whilst working for the LA I found EFS and took the leap. My heart has always been led to working with children in care and helping to improve the lives of those who cannot live with their birth families.
Everyone who knows me, knows my 2 cats Milo and Misty are basically my children, I am a bit cat crazy! I love to travel the world and learn about different cultures. But normally I am at home under a blanket watching Netflix or playing board games.
Alex qualified as a social worker in 2017, but following this, she took some time out after university and worked two jobs to gain more experience working with children in care, supervising contacts and working with children out of education and awaiting long-term foster placements. After university, she also travelled around Asia for four months before returning to find her first social work job in 2018, which happened to be in the Child in Care Team. This is where she knew her passion lay, and she stayed in the team for three years before making the jump over to the kinship team in early 2021, where she was able to maintain her link to Children in Care but also learn more about Fostering. Fast forward 18 months and after learning lots about Fostering, she found herself at EFS and the rest is history! She loves the community feel here at EFS and the opportunities to build longstanding relationships with carers and children.
In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, going out to eat, going on walks and her biggest passion is travelling and seeing new places! She loves having new things to look forward to, but also enjoys a chilled evening on the sofa watching terrible reality TV!
Camilla is a jack of all trades, but the one she’s most proud of is being a foster carer. Her first love was dancing which then led on to acting, and Camilla has performed in many stage productions as well as some TV, film and radio work.
At the same time, she was running her own business, a designer second-hand ladies clothes shop in London called Deuxieme. After 18 years of the two concurrent careers, Camilla decided to have a complete change and moved to Essex to become a Foster Carer!
This was initially inspired by doing some mentoring for the children’s charity Kids Company in London and feeling strongly about wanting to help children with difficult backgrounds. Her fostering journey began with two elderly cats, brothers Nelson and Napoleon, who had been left behind by their previous owner, but shortly after, her foster daughter arrived!
Seeing first-hand what amazing work EFS and all the carers do, when the opportunity came up to come on board to help with recruitment and marketing for EFS, Camilla jumped at it and is tickled pink to be on the team! Especially because her hilarious Toy Poodle, Audrey, can also be part of the EFS canine team!
I qualified in 2007 as a social worker, where I worked for LA children in care, moving on to LA fostering for the best part of 10 years, followed by some time in adoption. I left LA to work for the NHS and Perinatal mental Health, when I decided, I would like to go back to fostering! So here I am!
I’m married to James and we have 3 sons. I try and do my best to love exercise, body combat being my fave! but my favourite things of all are my 2 doggies, Luna and Ivy who are treated like the daughters I never had lol! A little fact about me, im a trained florist and in my spare time I have cobbled together a few weddings and funerals, although I prefer to just potter with the one vase these days!
Sharon has been fostering for over 11 years and has experience in all types of fostering including parent and child and supporting children and young people to move back with their family or with adopters. Sharon is linked in to Sarah Naish’s therapeutic training and is supervised by our qualified therapist. Sharon supports and mentors our foster carers and signposts them to relevant therapeutic toolkits and support.
Angela joined the EFS team in November 2021 and forms part of the invaluable administration team. Prior to joining us, Angela spent 10 years working in the NHS.
She enjoys keeping active at the gym or by taking herself off for long walks by the coast. She is equally happy tucked up with a good book or indulging in her love of Strictly (we’re looking forward to her contribution to the talent show!). We are also looking forward to sampling the banana bread that she became a dab hand at making during lockdown.
Angela has a teenage son who she is supporting through college and you’ll often find her cheering him on at Karate in which he has just attained his purple belt. We’ll be keeping on Angela’s good side!
Sam first joined the EFS team as a student social worker and we knew she had something special. Following graduation, she worked for Family Support and Protection at a Local Authority before coming back to EFS. Her background is as an Early Years Practitioner, working in a nursery with groups of pre-school children and also one-to-one support and supervision of children with SEN. During her time at the nursery, Sam worked with some children who were under social care and that was what inspired her to pursue a career in social work. Sam always has a house full at home, she is a working mum and step-mum, she is also animal mad and has two dogs – including Dolly, who is a regular feature in the EFS office. Sam rides horses and advocates their therapeutic input for children, so in her ‘spare time’ Sam will typically be outdoors!
Paul is our Children and Young People’s Participation Worker. Having been a foster carer for 7 years, he brings a great deal of experience to the role. Following a general EFS theme of not really loving school, Paul has always loved people and has spent his working life in a variety of people-focussed roles. His passion lies in making a positive difference in the lives of children and young people but that’s not to say he neglects the adults. Having lost an incredible 7 stone in weight, Paul now helps inspire others to do the same in his spare time as a Weight Loss Consultant. Whilst we may not have to direct our efforts at keeping Paul away from the cakes, we do frequently need to come between him and the karaoke machine. An altruistic act on the part of the EFS team who want to prevent suffering in all its forms, an approach which I am sure his wife and 3 year old French Bulldog, Winston, will fully support!
After qualifying as a social worker, Emma worked in child protection for Essex Local Authority for 13 years. She was incredibly passionate about protecting children and supporting families, especially the hard-to-reach families. She joined Eastern Fostering Services to learn new skills in a different area of social work and had always said she would leave child protection only to go into fostering. Her wish was our command! Emma loves being a Supervising Social Worker and is rightly proud of the support she offers our carers and children.
Emma is not only a mother herself, she is also a grandmother! You would not guess this by looking at her or her wardrobe, which she adds to regularly whilst indulging in her passion for clothes and shoes shopping.
She loves Spain and the sunshine generally and enjoys being by the sea or in the countryside. A little-known fact about Emma is her obsession with sausage dogs; they adorn most objects in her home, from cushions to mugs! Reassuringly, she does have a living, breathing sausage dog called Winnie, who probably quite enjoys all the adoration.
Yvette has worked for many years in Admin support, mainly in the Insurance world. She worked for 10 years for a Lloyd’s Underwriting Syndicate, in Underwriting Support, ending up as Team Leader.
Due to her love of horses, she took time out, and returned to education to do a degree in Equine Science. After which she pursued a career within the equine field for a while, before returning to the world of insurance.
Since having her daughter she has helped out at the school as an MDA and the rest of her time is spent looking after her daughter as well socialising and exercising.
Rachel originally started her career as a secondary school Geography teacher, focussing mainly on 14-18yrs (GCSE and A-Level teaching). She taught for 9 years at Tendring Technology College and 2 years at Colchester VI Form College. Whilst she thoroughly enjoyed this career, she wanted something more flexible that allowed her to spend more time with her 2 young children whilst remaining in a caring industry that was child-focussed. EFS was the answer!
When she’s not at work she can be found going for long walks in the countryside, running, digging her allotment or running around after her children!
Lucy’s experience lies in working with small companies and helping them grow. Lucy became involved at Eastern Fostering Services as a Panel Member and then started working directly with some of the children offering storymaking sessions (she is also a part-time writer.) Nowadays, Lucy co-ordinates our marketing and recruitment and manages child placements. She is also a foster carer.