The Fostering Network is delighted to today be welcoming HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to the 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards to celebrate the role of the fostering community in providing support to children and young people.
The Duchess will meet children and young people, foster carers, social workers, and care leavers, and present the Fostering Achievement Award to three exceptional young people in celebration of their extraordinary achievements in the last 12 months. She will also be presented with quilts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte by fostered children.
Every day more than 64,000 children live with over 55,000 foster families across the UK, while they are unable to live at home. These children have often experienced neglect and abuse, or have witnessed domestic violence or substance misuse. Whatever their experiences, all of them will be suffering the trauma of being separated from their own families, and need love, support and stability. Foster carers can provide these children with what they need, and often give them their first positive experience of family life.
During 2015 there is a need for at least 8,370 new foster families across the UK, particularly to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “We’re delighted that we will have an extra special guest attending this year’s Fostering Excellence Awards. The spotlight that will be placed on these young people, foster carers, social workers, and all those who make a positive contribution to the fostering community is thoroughly deserved, and I could not be prouder of the people we will be recognising at the awards.
“Amongst the many awards that will be celebrated at the event, The Duchess will be presenting an award to three young people who have shown how far determination, a good attitude, and proper support and stability can get you. Sadly not every young person has a positive start in life, but The Fostering Network, foster carers and all those involved in working with fostered young people throughout the UK will continue to strive to make life better for them.”
Children’s minister in England Edward Timpson MP, whose family fostered around 90 children, will be presenting an award to sons and daughters of foster carers who have made an exceptional contribution to fostering households. He said “These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the great work being done to ensure that vulnerable children can enjoy a loving home. As a son of foster carers myself, I know just how important this is – it’s a chance to be part of a family.”
Host of the awards, Holly Willoughby, said: “I am delighted to be hosting The Fostering Network’s Fostering Excellence Awards. It’s been incredibly humbling to be meeting so many amazing foster carers, their families, and care experienced young people who have achieved so much despite the enormous obstacles that have been in their way.
“From new born babies to young people who are taking their first steps into adulthood, foster carers are there every single day for children of all ages and who come from all walks of life. Being in foster care can provide stability and security for children when they need it most, so they can grow as part of a family while still being supported by the whole community of people who dedicate their lives to working with fostered children.”
To discover whether you have the skills to foster, and have room in your home, visit couldyoufoster.org.uk to find out more and to contact your local fostering services.
The Fostering Excellence Awards have been supported by: ISP, Towergate Insurance, Endsleigh Insurance, TACT, and Tunstall Jubilee Foundation.