The extraordinary work of foster carers was highlighted in the annual Worcestershire Children First Fostering conference, yesterday.
The conference was held online with more than 250 live views as foster carers joined the day’s events through the live stream on YouTube. The conference celebrated and recognised the work and dedication of foster carers in the county.
The conference started with a mix of speakers both live and pre-recorded which included Chief Executive Catherine Driscoll.
County Councillor Andy Roberts welcoming the foster carers watching from home and thanking them for their continued hard work and dedication.
A short film created by care leaver James Holbrook was then screened. The film Am I The Exception? explores how Worcestershire care leavers, and those currently in care, feel about their situation and their relationships with Worcestershire Children First and those they come into contact with. It is a powerful piece that sheds light on how the most vulnerable children and young people in the county feel about their care and testimony to the life changing impact fostering can have for young people.
After the film viewers were encouraged to get up and get active as a video pre-recorded by Leah Rebecca Yoga showed them the basics and benefits to taking up yoga as a means of exercise and relaxation while we are stuck inside
Keynote speaker Sarah Collet from Foster Talk then took to the camera with a live talk on her company and how they benefit Worcestershire foster carers.
The penultimate session of the day was centred around relaxation and meditation for children lead by Charlotte from Relax Kids.
Lastly the conference was moved over to a Zoom conference for a family sing-along session which saw both adults and children singing together on webcam along with their favourite teddy bears.
Catherine Driscoll, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Children First, said: “We are all having to do things a little differently now but one thing that isn’t different is the value of the work our foster carers do, the support, love and care they provide to Worcestershire’s children and young people is invaluable.
“The foster care conference is one of the highlights of my year. It’s normally a chance for me to talk to our foster carers over a cup of coffee to hear how things are going and get important feedback. Although I wasn’t able to do that this year it was great to see so many foster carers tuning in and getting involved in the virtual conference.
Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Families, said: “Although circumstances meant I couldn’t physically be there to meet our foster carers this year, it was wonderful for us to join together virtually, and to be able to thank them via a video message.
“In these most difficult of times I’m relieved that Worcestershire’s children and young people have such dedicated, hardworking and loving foster carers to take care of them when they need it most.”