Foster carers from across Plymouth have been praised for their invaluable service to children and young people during a celebration for Foster Carers awards ceremony.
Hosted at Devonport Guildhall, the event, celebrated the outstanding continued commitment and dedication of carers and the profound difference they make to young people’s lives.
Most of the carers commended at the event have been providing care to children for many years; some had committed over 40 years of their life to fostering children.
Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and young children said: “Foster carers are local heroes for us all and we owe them a tremendous gratitude for the job they do in often difficult circumstances. The thought of welcoming a child into your home can be daunting at first, but the fact that we’re able to celebrate carers who have been fostering for up 40 years shows how incredibly rewarding it can be. 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.
- Carers with 15 years of fostering
- Carers with 20 years of fostering
- Carers with 25 years of fostering
- Carers with 30 years of fostering
- Carers with 35 years of fostering
- Carers with 40 years of fostering
Steve and Mary Upton, Foster Carers 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 more than 408 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 Family Placement 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 exceptional things for young people who have had difficult starts.
“We are committed to supporting our foster carers and preparing them for whatever they may have to deal with as part of their role. 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 get in touch.”
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.forsterforplymouth.co.uk.