Western Trust Celebrates Foster Carers as local heroes
Foster carers from across the Western Trust area have been praised for their invaluable service to children and young people during a Celebration for Foster Carers Awards Ceremony.
Hosted this week at the Everglades, Londonderry, the event, celebrated the outstanding continued commitment and dedication of carers and the profound difference they make to young people’s lives. Foster carers attending were from the Strabane, Londonderry and Limavady localities.
Most of the carers commended at the event have been providing care to children for many years; some had committed over 20 and 25 years of their life to fostering children.
Describing them as going ‘above and beyond their duty’ to provide loving and stable environments for children and young people, guest speaker at the event, Mr Tom Cassidy, Assistant Director of Women and Children’s Services said: “This event aims to recognise the achievements of all of our foster carers. 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 we’re able to celebrate carers who have been fostering for up to 20 and even 25 years shows how incredibly rewarding it can be. 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 are receiving awards”
Awards were presented under the following categories to the foster carers.
- Carers with 20 years of fostering
- Carers with 25 years of fostering
- Carers who have retired
- Foster carers who assist with training
- Award for commitment to training and personal development
Pat Armstrong, Head of Service for Adoption, Fostering, Family Support and Early Years, added: "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. This is why the importance of on-going training is so important and it is great to also launch the Western Trust training booklet during the awards ceremony. We are committed to supporting our foster carers and preparing them for whatever they may have to deal with as part of their role.”
He added: "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 the Western Trust’s Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Team on 028 71314244