More than 150 foster carers have been recognised for their commitment to supporting children in care at a special celebration hosted by Nottingham City Council.
The Foster Carer Celebration event took place at the Council House on 9 March to pay tribute to those who help and support children and young people.
As well as a meal and a performance by musicians from Trinity School in Nottingham, long-service awards were given out to Foster Carers who had cared for children for more than 20 years.
Presenting the long-service awards, Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, told foster carers: “We’re paying tribute to you all for doing so much to help children in care in our city. You play a vital role in shaping the lives of children and young people, providing them with loving, stable homes. This Celebration event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for everything you do.”
Among the recipients were:
Andrea and Graham Hardy: 36 years’ service
Mandy and Dave Evans for 24 years’ service
Mavis Shirley for 20 years’ service
Melita Kirlew for 20 years’ service
Monica Lindsay for 28 years service
Sylvia Fyffe: 27 years’ service
Sue and Will Cotterill: 30 years’ service
Cllr Mellen added: “I am proud of the hard work which is being done to care for children in Nottingham. Our dedicated foster carers are everyday people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures who have the space in their homes and their hearts to provide the care which looked-after children in Nottingham so desperately need.”
More carers are needed to give loving homes to brothers and sisters and children over 11 – especially to older teenagers. There are nearly twice as many boys age 12 and 13 requiring care compared to girls of the same age.
The City Council is the agency that provides for the needs of children coming into care in Nottingham. There are currently around 500 children and young people who need foster care.
There is no one type of person who makes a good foster carer. However, certain experiences, skills and abilities are essential.
With the number of children coming into care at an all time high we urgently need more foster carers to come forward. Fostering may be unlike anything you have ever done before. Although it can be a challenging role, it can also be very rewarding as you see the children grow and develop after a difficult start in life. In some situations they may go home when their situation has improved or be moved on to permanent family and foster carers play a vital role in making this happen.
We welcome enquiries from:
- Anyone aged 21 or over
- Single people
- Couples (Married/Living together/Same sex/Civil partnership)
- Black/White/Any culture
- Religious or don’t follow a religion
- Home owners or tenants
- Employed or unemployed (as long as available for children)
What personal qualities are we looking for?
We’re looking for people with a mature outlook who are realistic and can offer positive experiences to our children in care to help them thrive and grow into the people they’re destined to be. Some qualities are the same as those asked of any parent. Some, however, are different and come with parenting a child/children not born to you. Some children will have experienced trauma and separation from their birth family. Some will have had many different carers.
What does a foster carer need to be able to do?
- Provide a safe, healthy and nurturing home for a child
- Demonstrate personal warmth to adults and children
- Work with us to implement a plan for the child/ren they are caring for (which is likely to involve contact with parents and others who are important to the child)
- Value diversity and ensure the child/ren are encouraged to have a positive understanding of their origins, religion and culture
- Understand other people’s points of view and feelings, and to be sensitive to others
- ‘Stand back’ from problems and be flexible in resolving them
- Enable children and young people who are moving on, to do so in a positive manner
- Understand normal child development
- Listen to and communicate with children
- Manage children’s behaviour with appropriate boundaries without the use of physical or other inappropriate punishment
- Sustain supportive relationships with family, friends and the community
- Use training and supervision to improve their own skills
- Value a child’s history and its importance to them
- Recognise their own limitations and to ask for and accept help