THE work of Northumberland foster carers and family support carers has been honoured at a special awards ceremony at The Alnwick Garden.
More than 60 carers were presented with certificates by the Duchess of Northumberland and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Glenn McCrory, who praised them for their commitment to supporting some of the county’s vulnerable children and young people.
The ceremony was organised to recognise the important work of Northumberland foster and family support carers as well as to offer direct acknowledgement from children and young people they support.
Carers were also awarded at the event for their attainments in national standards.
A key part of the event was the My Carer Nominations Awards where 34 carers received certificates of thanks from children and young people.
These were awarded by Joanne Patterson and Tony Waas, members of the Futureroute young people’s group.
Joanne said: “These nominations offer carers a formal thank-you from children and young people about the positive effect that they have had on their lives. It’s not always about the big amazing things, it’s also about the small things that have a significant impact.”
Joanne and Tony also presented the new animation DVD project My Carer is Mint, which looked after children and young people have created to raise awareness of what makes a good carer. The DVD doubles as a recruitment tool for the council for new carers and will feature on the county council’s website as part of the 2012 recruitment drive.
Coun Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “The My Carer is Mint DVD is only one of the many achievements that our children and young people have had. This is young people telling us what makes a good carer and seeks to raise awareness that we need more good carers to join our teams. At present we have 151 foster carers and 40 family support carers who offer a variety of services in our community, and we do need more to join our corporate parenting family.”
Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Glenn McCrory, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Northumberland foster and family support carers. I grew up in a foster family, and it is fantastic to see how much work they put in behind the scenes to be better carers for local children and young people.”
Alister Brown, the recently-appointed fostering service manager at the county council, said: “As I have just joined the team, this was a wonderful introduction to our carers and other members of the children’s services teams. It is quite clear that Northumberland carers are fully engaged with the training programmes that we provide to support them in caring for our children and young people. The extra ‘My Carer’ nominations are testimony to the positive effects that our carers have in the lives of the children and young people.”
Northumberland foster carer Lynne Wilkins said: “It was a really lovely day. I was so taken aback when I received a My Carer award. It means a lot coming direct from a young person.”
If you or anyone you know has experience of working with young people, why not find out more about fostering and family support care. Please visit http://family.northumberland.gov.uk for more information.