The Borough's foster carers and host families honoured with awards
The outstanding contributions of foster carers and host families in Stockton-on-Tees have been recognised at a special awards ceremony held by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council on Wednesday (31 January).
The Foster Carer and Supported Lodgings Awards shine a light on the achievements, resilience and outstanding care of people who look after children and young people across the Borough.
The Mayor, Councillor Jim Beall, who presented the Long Service and Special Milestone Awards, said: "These amazing people have opened space in their homes and hearts to offer safety and security to a child who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their parents. It was an honour to celebrate their long and dedicated service - some with over 40 years' experience - and hear about the remarkable achievements they and the other award winners have made to the lives of children."
Councillor Lisa Evans, who is the Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and presented the Children and Young Person Choice Award, added: "Every child deserves a safe and stable start to life. I'm delighted to celebrate our amazing foster carers and host families, who do all they can to provide some of the Borough's most vulnerable children and young people with a loving family environment. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees."
The awards, which were held at Wynyard Hall, celebrated care givers in the following categories:
Long Service and Special Milestone awards
Special Milestone awards were handed to carers who have reached their milestone one, five 10, and 15 years of service, while the Long Service awards celebrated those ranging from 20 years to an incredible 47 years of foster care!
Children and Young People Choice Award - Jane Cumiskey, Pat Bond and Colin Taylor
With nominations submitted by children in their care, Jane Cumiskey, Pat Bond and Colin Taylor were awarded the Children and Young People Choice Award for the excellent support they give.
This category recognises the work foster carers do to support the borough's looked after children, with each nomination submitted by a child in their care.
Peer-to-Peer Recognition Award - Mark and Colette Robinson
Nominated by foster carers who have particularly valued the support of their peers, the Peer-to-Peer Recognition Award was scooped by long-time foster carers, Mark and Colette Robinson.
They play a pivotal role in the Mockingbird fostering service, which led by The Fostering Network in the UK, delivers sustainable foster care. It is an evidence-based model structured around the support and relationships an extended family provides.
The model nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families supporting them to build a resilient and caring community.
Supported Lodgings Host of the Year Award - Lindsey and Alistair Taylor
As supported lodgings hosts, local couple Lindsey and Alistair Taylor go above and beyond for the young people living with them as they transition into adulthood.
They provide practical and emotional support, and most recently cared for a young person living with them by helping them to improve their English, access hobbies, and provided a loving home and family life.
Connected Carer of the Year Award - Adrian Young and Beverley Campbell
This award gives appreciation to kinship carers who have opened their homes to look after a child or children from their own family or a friend's family.
The winners, Adrian Young and Beverley Campbell are warm, caring and loving foster carers who show a great deal of empathy and understanding towards the children.
The children in their care have enjoyed experiences including their first holiday abroad, family meals and days out. Adrian and Beverley's unwavering support has ensured the children are settled and making excellent progress both in and out of school.
Foster Carer of the Year Award - Marilyn and Paul Julier
Marilyn and Paul Julier's approach to young people focuses on building a positive relationship with the young people to allow them to feel safe and supported in their care.
Thanks to their support, the mental health, emotional wellbeing and overall welfare of the children and young people has vastly improved. As well as fostering, they are currently supporting young people to move into independence, while preparing to welcome another young person into their family home.
For information about Fostering and Supported Lodgings visit the Council's fostering webpage.
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