Foster carers from across Lancashire have been honoured at a celebration event at County Hall.
An awards ceremony, held last night (Tuesday), was attended by foster carers from across Lancashire, county councillors and senior officers.
Awards were presented in five categories with the winners nominated by the council’s fostering team and other foster carers. The nominees had previously won in their local areas.
The winning Lancashire foster carers are:
• Foster family of the year – Karen and Andrew McCormick from Preston
• Friends and family foster carer of the year – Reece Craig from Padiham
• New foster carer of the year – Joanne Gregoire from Morecambe
• Outstanding contribution to the fostering service – Elizabeth and Graham Nelson, from Foulridge
• Outstanding contribution to children in our care – Kay and Peter Livesey, from Bacup
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, presented awards at the celebration and said: “I’m delighted to recognise the incredible efforts made by our foster carers.
“I’d like to say a big well done to all of our winners. I know that competition was fierce and our judges certainly had their work cut out.
“All of our foster carers, and certainly not just the winners of the awards, work tirelessly to improve the lives of looked after children in Lancashire and this ceremony is about celebrating their achievements.
“They have all opened up their hearts and their homes to provide children with a secure and loving place to live, and they make a massive difference in improving children’s lives each day.”
County Councillor Terry Aldridge, Chairman of the county council, also presented an award at the ceremony, and said: “It was a pleasure to see our foster carers recognised.
“Fostering is such a tremendous thing to do as it gives children the opportunity of the childhood that they deserve, a childhood that otherwise they may not have had.
“I’d like to say a personal thank you to all our foster carers, and well done to the winners.”
The county council is currently recruiting new people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and teenagers. No formal experience or qualifications are needed, all that is required is a spare room and the desire to make a difference to a local child’s life.
A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.
If you want to find out more, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering