More than 100 foster children have walked through the doors of the Matthews family home in the last 23 years.

It is even more impressive given Jackie and Alan Matthews have six children between them, including their youngest, aged 19, who is adopted.

Jackie, 54, from Maldon, said: “I was childminding and then I was doing a lot of childminding for social services and from then it was natural progression.

“But I also wanted to be at home with my own children, but also work and do something worthwhile.”

Essex County Council aims to recruit another 100 foster carers in Foster Care Fortnight, especially for teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups of three or more.

For more information call 0800 801 530 or visit

* Full story in this week's Standard.