Foster carers from across Plymouth have been praised for their invaluable service to children and young people at a special celebration ceremony.
The Celebration in Excellence event, which was held at Devonport Guildhall, celebrated the outstanding continued commitment and dedication of carers.
The Council paid tribute to the contribution all carers make towards the lives of children in care and also recognised the support of the families and birth children in fostering.
Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and young children said: “Foster carers really are my local heroes and we owe them a tremendous gratitude for the job they do, often difficult circumstances. I have been humbled and inspired by the amazing work our winners’ do, with no thought of any reward other than making life a little easier, less painful and safer for vulnerable children and young people. We’re incredibly proud of our foster carers and these awards are the least we can do to thank all of these special people who have given their time to support children who needed a new home. I congratulate and thank all who received an award.”
Awards were presented under the following categories to the foster carers.
- Celebrating the Contribution of Birth Children
- Celebrating Commitment to Children with Disabilities
- Celebrating the Contribution of Respite and Short Break Foster Carers
- Celebrating the Commitment of Connected Carers
- Celebrating New Foster Carers (First two years)
- Celebrating Foster Carers who Foster Teenagers
- Celebrating Commitment to Permanence
- Celebrating the Contribution of Parent and Child Foster Carers
- Celebrating Commitment to Fostering Unaccompanied Children and Young People
- Celebrating Contribution to the Fostering Service
Rose Kinder, was recognised for her contribution to the fostering service. She said: “Looking after and getting to know the children who have come in and out of our lives over the years has been a pleasure. We feel privileged to be able to make a difference, no matter how small, in their lives. Our reward is seeing them go out into the world as confident happy young people. We feel very honoured to foster and would encourage anyone with the time and space in their home and their life to consider taking on this most rewarding role. We would like to say how much we enjoyed Friday night. A great venue very well organised, fabulous food and great company. Thank you to all who organised the evening we really do appreciate it.”
There are currently 404 children and young people in care and there is an on-going campaign to recruit more foster carers.
When a child cannot be cared for within their family, the Council’s first priority is for them to be looked after by a local authority foster carer, as they live in the area near to a child’s family and friends so it is less disruptive for a child.
Fostering is a way to make a real positive difference to a child’s life, providing children and young people with a stable and loving home and the support and encouragement they need to flourish and do well. Fostering for Plymouth City Council also offers full training, support and the opportunity to learn new skills.
Alison Barker, Service Manager for Permanency said: “At a time when the need for foster carers is at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to thank these exceptional foster carers who do tremendous things for young people who have had difficult starts. We are always in need of more carers to help provide this valuable and essential service, whether it is for long-term placements or weekend breaks, so we would urge anyone interested in fostering to come forward.”
Anyone who would like details on how to become a foster carer is asked to contact Plymouth City Councils Fostering Recruitment Team on 01752 305175 or visit www.fosterforplymouth.co.uk.