Wolverhampton has officially thanked dozens of dedicated foster carers for the vital work they do looking after vulnerable children and young people in the city.
The City of Wolverhampton Council's Fostering for Wolverhampton team recognised the service of 42 foster carers at the ‘For The Love of Fostering’ awards evening at the Ramada Park Hall Hotel.
Leslie and Kevin Clarke, Joanne and Mark Collier, Yulrette Elliott, Lisa and Philip Mann, Yvonne Taylor, Satbinder and Jarnail Bains, Balbir Kaur and Shinda Singh and Janice and Gerald Pickard were commended for completing 10 years’ service.
Awards for 15 years' service were presented to Carolyn and Gary Harper, Helen and Michael Holden and Victoria Smith. Christine and Ted Howard were commended for 20 years’ service. Gillian and Andrew Small received an award for 25 years’ service and Liz and Trevor Jones were commended for over 30 years’ service.
This year’s awards event also included eight special awards. The Teenage Foster Carer Award was won by Maureen Powell with Sharon Brown highly commended.
The Kinship Carer Award was won by Grace Wylde and highly commended were Dawn James, Carol Daley and Bina Hudim. The Permanency Carer Award was won by Deborah and Shaun Webb and highly commended were David and Louise Whatton.
The Baby and Primary Children Carer Award was won by Stephen Goodwin and highly commended were Julie Round and Helen and Kevin Terry. The Sibling Group Carer Award was won by Theresa and Brian Hayes and highly commended were Tracy Kenny and Brian Fraser, Bev Peart, Terrie Naylor, Nora Riley and Bina Hudim.
The New Foster Carer Award was won by Sally Parker and highly commended were Patricia Palmer-Newby, Sally Abbiss, Thomas Nkompela and Leona and Alex Stojanovic.
The Outstanding Commitment to Fostering Children with Disabilities Award was won jointly by Angela Elliott and Gemma Wright, and the final award, Outstanding Contribution to Fostering was won by Brian Saunders with Maureen Powell, Yvonne Taylor, Judith Bradley and Emma-Jane Kisby all highly commended.
The evening was opened by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Phil Page and awards were presented by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Councillor Paul Sweet and Emma Bennett, Director of Children’s Services.
Councillor Sweet said: "We are very lucky to have so many fantastic foster carers in Wolverhampton who combine a desire to help children with a commitment to providing the best possible care and support for them.
“I was delighted to be able to present awards to these very special people and to have the opportunity to personally thank them for their efforts on behalf of our city's children and young people.
"I would urge anyone who has considered fostering to speak to our Fostering for Wolverhampton team to find out more about this life-changing role.”
Foster carers can be sole carers, married or in a relationship. Placements can be anything from a few days to a number of years, and they receive a regular, tax exempt allowance to cover the cost of bringing up the child.
Help and support is available from the Fostering for Wolverhampton team 24 hours a day, while first-time foster carers also receive six months' buddy support from experienced carers who are there to guide them through the system.