Foster carer awards
February 20, 2019
Foster carers who between them have devoted 370 years to helping young people have been honoured at Wallasey town hall.
The Big Heart awards were held to recognise the contributions of those who have played such an important part in fostering young people – and to welcome new foster carers.
The event, compered by director of children’s services, Paul Boyce, saw Brenda and George Killip, Wirral’s longest serving carers among those honoured after almost 30 years of helping children in the borough.
The couple have looked after children on a long and short term basis and have cared for more than 60 children, including those with disabilities – and although they moved to Wales, they have continued to foster for Wirral.
Cabinet member for children and families, Cllr Bernie Mooney, also paid tribute to other long-serving foster carers who have helped Wirral children.
She told those at the awards ceremony: “I have to give a shout-out to our Long Service foster carers who between them have a combined total of over 370 years in fostering which is just incredible.”
Cllr Mooney added: “Today is first and foremost about rewarding the fantastic work that you all do, and to say thank you for going consistently above and beyond. We understand that for you fostering is not just a job, it’s a vocation.
“As the cabinet member for children and families, I’m always interested in what’s going on in the world of fostering, particularly here in Wirral.
“In October we launched our new fostering campaign which you can see examples of dotted around the room today, and which formed the title of today’s event – the Big Heart Fostering Awards. This was created in partnership with current foster carers and highlights why we feel it is so important for us to work closely together towards our shared aim of recruiting more.”
Other winners included Julie Preston who won the Foster Carers’ Choice which was voted for by other foster carers, and Sue Johnston who scooped the Professionals’ Choice Award which was voted for by members of staff from the children's and young people’s department (CYPD).
A new award for the recruitment team was also handed out, as part of measures to highlight the ongoing need for new people to join as foster carers, while a group of foster carers who were retiring after providing decades of care were also honoured. Cllr Mooney said: “I can’t begin to imagine how many young lives you have touched and transformed.”