THE HARD work and dedication of foster carers from across the borough was celebrated at a prestigious awards event.
The Mayor of Solihull, Mike Robinson, was on hand to bestow the awards to those who provide the best possible outcomes for children and young people in care within the borough.
Over 50 foster carers attended the awards ceremony, which included awards for resilience and outstanding contributions to the care of children and young people in Solihull.
The final awards of the event were long service awards for foster carers who had completed over ten years of service.
At the glittering ceremony 12 foster carers received long service awards – collectively the dozen have dedicated 202 years of fostering experience between them.
Ken and Jean Jones are the longest serving carers in the borough with 36 years of fostering in Solihull.
During this time they have cared for around 200 children.
Jean said: “It’s brilliant to come to an event like this and meet other carers, especially those who are just starting to share the experience.”
Siân Mcallister, a representative of the Children in Care Council in Solihull OVOS (Our Voice Our Service) also attended.
Sian, who has experience of being in care in Solihull herself, said: “As a young person that has been through a lot, I feel that foster carers play an important role in the lives of the young person they care for.
“As a foster carer, they can teach a child or young person a lot, and that young person will remember the things their carer does for the rest of their lives.”
The event was attended by several representatives of Solihull Council, including Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, Councillor Ken Meeson.
He said: “Foster carers provide a vital role in ensuring the best possible life outcomes for children and young people who are unable to live with their birth families in Solihull.
“These foster carers prepare young people for success in the future, for that I thank them.”
To become a foster carer, people need to have a spare room in their home, a commitment to help a child or young person, patience and a willingness to learn.
People from all walks of life are welcome to apply to foster, whether they are single, married or in a same sex relationship, own or rent a home or have children of their own.
To find out more about fostering with Solihull Council visit www.socialsolihull.org.uk/fosteringandadoption/fostering or call 0800 073 0769.