SB Connect Winter 2016

Foster carers’ hard work is honoured

Front (L-R): Joanna Smith (25 years), Angela O’Callaghan (five years), Councillor Frances Renton (who presented the awards), Betty Falconer (15 years)

The hard work and commitment of long-serving foster carers was acknowledged at an awards ceremony in October.

Foster carers with between five and 30 years’ service were presented with a certificate by SBC’s Executive Member for Social Work and Housing, Councillor Frances Renton, in recognition of their dedication and support towards the children and young people of the region.

Councillor Renton said: “Every day, across the Borders, our dedicated team of foster carers make a difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

“They open their homes and their hearts at a time when these youngsters need it most, providing them with a family environment that provides the stability, security and love that, for whatever reason, is missing from their lives.

“They often establish connections that last a lifetime, such is the level of commitment they have to their role, and it is therefore hugely important that we take the time to acknowledge and thank them for the significant contribution they make.”

Chris Muir from Peebles has been a foster carer for the past 30 years, supported by her husband Wally.
She said: “It was lovely to be invited to this event and for everyone to be recognised for all their hard work. Each of us will have slightly different reasons for deciding to foster, but we all share a common bond of wanting the best for children and young people who, for whatever reason, can’t stay in their family home.

“As long-term carers ourselves, our aim is to provide a safe, caring, loving homely environment for children to develop and grow with the stability and support they need to ensure a brighter future. Long-term care can potentially change a child’s future, even for generations to come, and we couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Following in the footsteps of her parents, Gemma Muir has been fostering for the past five years. She said: “Having grown up in a family who opened their doors to children and young people needing support, I decided to foster as I feel that every child deserves a stable family life where they can be nurtured, loved and have their needs met. Fostering allows the children to see the world from a different view and provides the foundation for them to work from to build a happy and stable future.

“Of course, there are challenges, as there are in any family, but it’s a hugely rewarding profession and I would encourage anyone who might be thinking of it to get in touch with the team to find out more.”
The awards ceremony was part of a conference held to give professionals and foster carers the chance to come together and share information about the ever- changing challenges of providing foster care in today’s society. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.

Could you foster?

Anyone who would like to find out more about fostering is encouraged to get in touch with the Family Placement Team to find out more. They are particularly keen to hear from:

  • people who would be willing to care for adolescents
  • people who could provide short breaks for children with complex needs and disabilities.

To find out more, contact the Family Placement Team on 01896 662799 or visit: www.scotborders.gov.uk/fostering