Two of Scottish Borders Council’s most respected foster carers have achieved national recognition as recipients of the ‘Oor fabulous foster folk’ award at this year’s The Broons Awards in Glasgow.
Betty and Ian Falconer from Newtown St Boswells were up against stiff competition from over 1,000 other entries but triumphed at a gala ceremony hosted by Lorraine Kelly at the city’s Grand Central Hotel.
The couple have been fostering with SBC since 2000 and have provided support to no fewer than 103 children and young people.
Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s executive member for social work and housing said: “Betty and Ian are both highly valued members of our Family Placement Team, known for their specialisms in working with teenagers and young people with additional needs, such as learning disabilities, autism and ADHD.
“They have dedicated their lives to providing a safe, loving and nurturing environment to some extremely vulnerable children, with each child who comes into their care encouraged to achieve and feel proud of who they are. Just one example of the feedback that the team regularly receives from children who spend time in their home, and as testament to the care and support that they provide, is the recent review from one young person who said ‘I have the best foster carers in the world’.
“Many congratulations to them on receiving this award and for the acknowledgement it represents of the commitment and patience they consistently show towards the children in their care. It is very well-deserved and we are delighted that all their hard work has been recognised in this way.”
Betty and Ian said: “We were surprised and delighted to have been nominated, let alone make it all the way through to become overall winners. It is a tremendous honour to have been given this award which we have accepted on behalf of all foster carers, not just in the Borders but nationally as well, as we know only too well the good work that is going on in the homes of many, many foster care families right across the country every day.
“We couldn’t do it without all the support we get from the Family Placement Team and are very grateful to them for everything they have done for us. Not only do they make us feel part of a team, but they are always there at the end of the phone with advice and guidance. The training they have provided us with over the years has been a tremendous help in terms of giving us the skills we need to be the type of foster carers that the children and young people who come to us need and deserve.
“We came to fostering as a result of a personal family tragedy but it has transformed our lives in ways that we could never have imagined.
“Not only do we develop a close relationship with the children and young people while they are in our home but we maintain contact with them once they move on, giving us an extended family that we value and treasure. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
The Council is always keen to hear from people who would like to find out more about fostering.
For more information, contact the Family Placement Team on 01896 662799 or visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/fostering