Foster carers who have given a loving home to children in care have been honoured at Northamptonshire County Council’s annual Foster Carer Awards.
The awards are held to recognise the support and commitment of foster carers across the county and to celebrate the difference they make to the lives of children and young people who for a variety of reasons cannot stay with their birth families.
Among the award winners was Steve and Jenny Harris, from Northampton, who have now been fostering with the county council for 30 years. In that time, they’ve cared for around 150 children and young people.
Awards are also given to foster carers who have completed their first year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years and 20 years of fostering.
There are currently around 1,000 looked after children in Northamptonshire – the highest number ever recorded – so the contribution of foster carers is more important than ever.
County council cabinet member for families and learning Cllr Matthew Golby, who attended the ceremony on January 30, said: “This was a really wonderful event and a great opportunity for us to say thank you to the foster carers who do such an incredible thing by opening their home to children in need.
“Fostering is not always easy but these carers told us that it is probably the most rewarding thing they’ve ever done.
“With the rising number of looked after children in Northamptonshire, we are keen to find more people who would be willing to offer a stable, loving home to a young person. If you have a spare room and think you have the skills and life experience to become a foster carer, we’d love to hear from you.”
There is a particular need to find more foster homes for older children and sibling groups.
Northamptonshire County Council offers a full training and support package for its foster carers, and carers receive a competitive weekly payment which is higher than the government recommended rates.
To find out more, visit www.fosterme.co.uk, call 0300 126 1009 or come along to an information evening on Wednesday 24 February from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at John Dryden House in Northampton.