The hard work and commitment of long-serving foster carers has been acknowledged by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) at an awards ceremony at Tweed Horizons.
Foster carers with between five and 30 years’ service with the local authority were presented with a certificate in recognition of their dedication and support toward the children and young people of the region.
The ceremony took place as 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 care. This is the second year that the event has been held.
Councillor Tom Weatherston, the council’s executive member for children and families social work, said: “Every day across the Borders, foster carers 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 that they have to their role, and they are to be commended for everything they do.”
He added: “As always, we are keen to hear from anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a valued member of the team.
“There is a particular need for people who are willing to care for adolescents, along with anyone who could provide short breaks for children with complex needs and disabilities. This involves weekend breaks and short-term periods of respite care for children who live at home with their parents and can be a good option for people who are not able to commit to fostering on a full-time basis.”
Drew Messer and his wife have been carers for the past four years. He said: “It does not matter how long you care for a foster child, it is a privilege to see how they develop and grow during the time they are with you.”
Nicola Beck added: “My husband Graeme and I have fostered for nearly 11 years, but it’s not just us who foster; we are fully supported by our two birth children without whom we could not be foster carers.
“In a family unit it’s like a team; it involves a commitment from each one of us – even our dog plays a huge role in these children’s lives!”
To find out more about fostering, contact the family placement team on 01896 662799, or visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/fostering.