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Foster carers celebrated

Foster carers celebrated

“You deserve a medal.” A statement often made, but in the case of caregivers, none more deserved.

Foster Care Awareness Week, Sunday 6th – Saturday 12th March, marks a significant week for some special New Zealander’s who open their homes and hearts to children and young people who can’t live in their own homes. It’s a chance to acknowledge and thank caregivers who put their hands up to foster for Child, Youth and Family, an NGO agency or family/whänau.

Ten extraordinary caregivers or couples will be celebrated at the week’s highlight, the Excellence in Foster Care Awards, with a ceremony held at Government House on Friday 11th March.

Nominated by social workers or members of the community, award recipients were selected based on their length of service, team approach, relationship with the child’s family and their role as a leader or mentor to other caregivers.

Fostering Kids New Zealand first began the awards in 2007 – this is the fourth awards ceremony that they have hosted in partnership with Child, Youth and Family.

“In celebrating these ten very deserving families we also pay tribute to the thousands of caregivers and whānau/kin caregivers throughout the country. It’s these wonderful people in our community that truly improve outcomes for children in care. Foster Care Awareness Week is an opportunity to value this vital role in our communities,” says Linda Surtees,Fostering Kids New Zealand Chief Executive.

This week foster care support groups and agencies are also holding special events, including morning teas and family fun days to thank their local caregivers for the work that they do.

“Foster carers are a vital part of the Child, Youth and Family team. They spend the most time with kids in care and bring about fundamental change. It’s a challenging job, but by sticking by them and helping them to trust the world again, their contribution to helping vulnerable children thrive is significant,” says Viv Rickard, Deputy Chief Executive, Child, Youth and Family. ”It’s often the small things that count - like listening, offering support in hard times and treating them like part of the family that make a real difference.”

ENDS

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