With the nominations for the Fostering Excellence Awards 2020 open, trustee and fostering service manager Ishara Tewary, tells us why we should all think about nominating someone we know in fostering.
The Fostering Excellence Awards have become the foremost celebration event in the fostering calendar. They are one of our community’s ways of ensuring that we recognise foster carers, their sons and daughters, care experienced young people and social workers.
I feel privileged to have been a part of the awards over the past few years – initially as a nominator, then as a judge and now as a trustee at The Fostering Network. This is one of the events that I really look forward to attending, as it is wonderful to see how special each winner is made to feel at this incredibly amazing event.
Fostering families dedicate their lives to meeting the needs of the children in their care, which is a 24/7 responsibility and while it is rewarding, there are many challenges. The Fostering Excellence Awards are a national event where together we can demonstrate our appreciation of and recognition for the exceptional contribution fostering families make to society.
It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young people against the odds in their journey through foster care. And the awards don’t leave social workers out of the celebrations either – their important role in supporting foster families and fostered children and young people is recognised with its own award.
As an awards judge in the past, I’ve marvelled at reading the extent to which foster families go to when advocating for children and ensuring their needs are met. I’ve also heard about some genuinely outstanding achievements by fostered young people. The stories are all truly heart-warming and courageous and it leaves me filled with pride.
In 2018, one of the foster carers from the fostering service I worked for won an award. As well as making our foster carers feel valued and appreciated by knowing that their fostering service took the time to showcase the brilliant work they do, it boosted awareness of and interest in fostering in our area.
During these unprecedented times, we are relying on fostering more than ever and therefore we should share the beautiful stories of everyone who is involved in fostering’s triumphant efforts. I encourage all fostering services and others to nominate for the Fostering Excellence Awards. This event helps put fostering and our unsung heroes on the map!
Run annually by The Fostering Network, the Fostering Excellence Awards are the UK’s most prestigious foster care awards. They celebrate outstanding achievement in fostering and recognise those who make exceptional contributions to foster care every day. You can nominate here.