Awards celebrate fostering excellence

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Foster carers, their sons and daughters and care experienced young people are among the worthy winners at this year’s Fostering Excellence Awards, run by leading charity The Fostering Network.

The Fostering Excellence Awards, supported by bed specialists Dreams, are the UK's leading foster care awards, and celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in fostering. Awards are presented to foster carers, their sons and daughters and social workers for their outstanding contributions to foster care, as well as to care experienced young people for their achievements.

In the Fostering Achievement categories, winners include a young man who has turned his life around from a troubled childhood and prison, a young woman who is achieving great things despite not being diagnosed as deaf until moving in with a foster family in her teens, and a university student succeeding academically after arriving in the UK as a 16-year-old asylum seeker, traumatised and unable to speak English.

Among the foster carers is a woman who not only cares for a very disabled boy, but also runs a group to help parents to care for their own disabled children, and a family who have provided a home to 13 young mothers and their babies, to help them learn to be good parents. The awards also celebrate the amazing role played by the sons and daughters of foster carers in making fostering work, with awards being given to six children from three families.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘Foster care helps children to transform their lives, often after very difficult starts to their childhoods. The Fostering Excellence Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate and praise the amazing achievements of six young people who have succeeded against the odds, and to reflect on the achievements of all children in care and young care leavers across the UK.

‘We are also able to recognise the fantastic role played by foster families and social workers in helping children to thrive in foster care, and to thank them for all that they do. The Awards are a showcase of everything that is good about foster care, and to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing people who are part of the fostering community.”

The ceremony will be hosted by the BBC’s Ashley John-Baptiste, who is an ambassador for The Fostering Network, and attended by Government ambassador for fostering in England, TOWIE’s Debbie Douglas.

The Fostering Network would like to thank Dreams, Endsleigh Insurance, Towergate, The Tunstall Jubilee Foundation and Partnership in Children’s Services for supporting the 2016 Fostering Excellence Awards.

A full list of winners is available at thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/awards.