Published: Thursday, 5th October 2017
The hard work and commitment of long serving foster carers has been acknowledged at an awards ceremony at Tweed Horizons.
Foster carers with between five and 30 years’ service with the Council were presented with a certificate in recognition of their dedication and support toward the children and young people of the region.
The ceremony took place as part of a conference held annually to give professionals and foster carers the chance to:
- share information about the ever changing challenges of providing foster care in today’s society
- hear about new ideas and examples of best practice
- raise any concerns they might have
- share their experiences and thoughts for improving service provision.
Councillor Tom Weatherston, Executive Member for Children and Families Social Work
“I have nothing but admiration for the way in which our dedicated team of foster carers make such a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable children and young people and believe it is hugely important that we take the time to acknowledge them for the significant contribution they make.
“Every day across the Borders, they open their homes and their hearts at a time when these youngsters need it most, providing them with a family environment that provides the stability, security and love that for whatever reason is missing from their lives. They often establish connections that last a lifetime, such is the level of commitment that they have to their role, and they are to be commended for everything they do.”
Drew Messer, foster carer
“Being a foster carer is not just a job, and we came to the role because we are committed to making a difference to the lives of children who have perhaps not had the same opportunities that my wife and I have had. Each child comes with their individual experiences and personalities, and it does not matter how long you care for a foster child, it is a privilege to see how they develop and grow during the time they are with you.”
Nicola Beck, foster carer
"My husband Graeme and I have fostered for 10 years, but it’s not just us who foster; we are fully supported by our two birth children without whom we could not be foster carers. In a family unit it’s like a team; it involves a commitment from each one of us - even our dog plays a huge role in these children’s lives!
“Foster caring is not just a job; it’s a very rewarding lifestyle. We hope in our hearts that each and every child takes at least some of what we show them away with them in their memories for the future.”
Could you foster?
We are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer. There is a particular need for people who are willing to care for adolescents or provide short breaks for children with complex needs and disabilities.
Foster carers come from all walks of life and may be single or in an enduring partnership. They need to:
- have an understanding of looking after or working with children
- be able to provide positive parenting with patience and understanding
- have a genuine interest in children and young people and enjoy their company
- be patient and have the ability to listen, understand and communicate with young people.
Many of our foster carers have had previous careers in child or social care, for example, while others have child care experience with children in their own families and communities.
Carers are provided with:
- full training
- access to a team of social workers who are on hand to provide support
- an allowance to cover costs, a weekly fee and a retainer for up to eight weeks when they are without a placement.
They need to be in reasonable health and in settled circumstances. Thorough checks are undertaken and a full assessment as to their suitability is carried out, including a preparatory training course.