COUNCIL bosses are appealing to loving homes in Essex to take in the rising number of foster children this New Year.

Essex County Council has reported an increase in the number of children requiring care within the county.

Last year, more than 500 children entered the care system, necessitating a fresh call to those who can provide a nurturing environment.

Many of these are aged between 16 and 17, however, there are also a range of youngsters across all age groups in need of secure and caring homes.

Councillor Beverley Egan, cabinet member for children’s services and early years at Essex County Council, said: “Essex County Council is proud of the remarkable change foster carers make to the lives of vulnerable children across the county.

"It would be fantastic to see more adults become foster carers and provide children with a caring home and the tools they need for life ahead.”

The council provides training for prospective carers, offering bespoke methods tailored to individual circumstances.

Earlier in the year, the council increased carer fees by nine per cent to support those who are able and willing to make a life-changing difference.

For further details, contact 0800 801 530 or head to Essex County Council's website.