Seventy-one foster carers came together last week at a celebration evening to recognise the dedication and vital role they play in helping to look after some of the most vulnerable children in Central Bedfordshire Council’s care.
Among those who picked up certificates at the Celebration of Fostering event held at Woburn Safari Park were Sandra and Tim Thorne from Eaton Bray.
They were recognised in the My Brilliant Foster Carer category for their extraordinary devotion and commitment to a group of three siblings as well as their long service.
Sandra said: “We were so surprised to get this award and it was extra special because it was from the children and meant a lot. I would say to anyone thinking of fostering, ‘give it a go, if you can help one child you would be giving more than you will ever know. You will also make lifelong friends along the way’.”
Cllr Mark Versallion, executive member for children’s services, said: “Every day, foster carers play a vital role in the lives of thousands of children and young people who come into local authority care for a variety of reasons.
They provide stability, security and most importantly they make children feel safe and cared for.”
Certificates were presented to carers in the categories of: Outstanding Contribution to Caring for Children with Disabilities; Outstanding Contribution to Fostering; My Brilliant Foster Carer; and My Brilliant Friends and Family Carer. Foster carers were nominated by staff, social workers, fellow foster carers and looked after children.
The nominees went to a panel made up of a Children in Care Council member, a fostering team manager, a mentor foster carer and the Head of the Corporate Parenting Service to decide who would receive a certificate, gift basket and a ‘Foscar’ award. Certificates were also given for Long Service.
The foster carers attended with their foster children and birth children and enjoyed a parrot show, staff choir performance, a delicious BBQ, music and the awards ceremony.
Cllr Versallion added: “As this celebration shows, we are fortunate enough to have a number of excellent foster carers who are doing a fantastic job day in, day out. Yet we still have children of all ages waiting for someone to come into their lives and make a huge difference.”
> Do you think you could be a foster carer? If so, why not give us a call to find out on 0300 300 8181.