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Celebrating Worcestershire’s foster carers

Published Monday, 17th May 2021

This year’s Worcestershire Children First Fostering conference was a great opportunity for staff to extend a warm welcome and send a big thank you to all the county’s foster carers.

The extraordinary work, commitment, and dedication of foster carers across Worcestershire was highlighted throughout the event on Wednesday 12 May, arranged to coincide with National Foster Care Fortnight (10 to 23 May).

The conference, organised by Worcestershire Children First Fostering, was streamed online and foster carers across the county joined the event in celebration and recognition the difference their work makes to the lives of local children. To make the conference even more special, the fostering service arranged to send surprise delicious chocolate brownies to our foster carers and children to enjoy during foster care fortnight. This treat was well received by their foster carers, with one commenting: “Just had a nice surprise in the post. It’s lovely to feel appreciated.”

The virtual conference was hosted by the services Group Manager Laurie Mo Gullachsen a included welcome from Interim Chief Executive of Worcestershire Children First, Tina Russell, who thanked all the foster carers for their dedication and acknowledged their dedication, resilience and commitment through this past year of challenge and change.

Staff from across Worcestershire Children First social care teams had prepared a special film to express sincere thanks and appreciation for all the hard work of our foster carers during the pandemic which can be watched on their Fostering Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/fosteringworcestershire

This year’s conference had a strong focus on supporting foster carers with their own mental health and wellbeing and featured several taster sessions for foster carers to participate in, including community learning such as ‘Art in your heart’ & ‘Marvellous me’ as well as a session of mindfulness and seated Yoga which are part of the wrap around support offered for all Worcestershire Children First Foster carers. Nichola Mendez also gave a presentation on FosterTalk and how they can support and benefit Worcestershire foster carers.

Tina Russell, Interim 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.

“I want to thank you for being our foster carers and for taking care of our children and being their substitute parental carers. Whether it be for short periods of time or long permanency care, through the care you give we know you help that child or young person cope with whatever experience of trauma, abuse or family loss and bereavement they have had couldn’t be more important an is an essential part of how we achieve our vision to keep children Happy, Healthy and Safe”.

Foster Care Fortnight runs from 10 May until 23 May. Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer can attend an information session and get to talk to a foster carer ambassador. The next sessions are taking place on Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 18:30 and Thursday 27 May 2021 at 18:00 and will be held on Microsoft Teams. For details how to join visit https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/fosteringevents