Our Aim

The long and short of it is that we want to provide good, stable, local homes for children in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire who can't live with their own parents.

We can do this because we know the children well, we know the carers well and we can therefore match carer and child in a way few other agencies can, giving the placement every chance for success.

We know that our carers do an incredible job and we strive to support them in every way we can, often going above and beyond the norm. (See "What's so special about us?" for more details.)

We really welcome our carers into the team and we reckon our family-like approach is the best way to make a difference.

About the Team


Like any family, we're a hotchpotch but all united in one thing: our passion for the children and carers we place them with.

Tony Jones


With over 40 years' experience in the care sector, Tony really knows his stuff! He uses this knowledge and experience to keep EFS on track with our aims and to ensure that we're keeping our promise to the children and the carers that we represent. Tony's one of those rare good guys, driven by the desire to make a difference.

Eleanor Vanner


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. With over 20 years' experience in this area and a desire to see children living happy, settled lives, Eleanor represents the real heart of EFS.

Sarah Grimwade


Anyone who's worked in a team will know the value of someone with over 25 years' experience in administration and Customer Services. Sarah, with her organisational skills and dedication to the children and carers EFS look after is worth her weight in gold and our carers will tell you the same themselves.

Julie Williams


Julie's always had a desire to make a difference, from taking part in the Greenham Common anti-nuclear protests in the early 80's to training to work as a solicitor. EFS are glad to say she knocked that career into touch over 30 years ago and decided instead to work in Social Care. Her experience in the area of probation and Family Court Welfare and at CAFCASS has given her a deep and broad skillset. We love Julie for her passion for working with children and carers and her dedication in supporting them so skilfully through the ups and downs.

Tricia Rutherford


Tricia is a lady with many strings to her bow. She has 29 years' experience working directly with children and young people for prestigious organisations like NCH Action for Children and the NSPCC. Tricia is motivated by her desire to improve the welfare of children and young people and it is this child-centred focus that has enabled her to slip seamlessly into the fabric of EFS. We also know her for her readiness to share a joke, a witty anecdote and her wicked laugh to help diffuse those difficult moments.

Lucy Stevens


Lucy's experience lies in working with small companies and helping them grow. Lucy became involved at EFS 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,you'll also find her with her sleeves rolled up, tirelessly devising new ways to attract carers to the EFS family.

Meet The Panel

These are the guys who have the final say once your application is complete. Don't worry, they're a good bunch. And here they are:

Corrie - Chair Person (Independent social worker)

David – Vice Chair (Retired senior lecturer in social psychology)

Trisha – EFS social worker

Dee – Retired EFS social worker

Jo – Independent, social worker

John – Independent, social worker

Nigel – Independent, Reitred HR Director and consultant

Jill – Independent, social worker

Bruce – Independent social worker

Tim – Independent, retired police officer

Jane – Independent, foster carer

Netta – Independent, retired social worker

Nicki – Independent, social worker