Date: 20/05/2008 Category: Childrens Care
An award ceremony to thank those people who give children and young people support, guidance and a real home-from-home will be celebrated at an awards ceremony and lunch. Medway Foster Carers’ Awards recognises the good work done by all Medway foster carers and celebrates some of the exceptional care that has been given by individual carers over the past year. Members of the media are welcome to attend a photo opportunity of the winners at 2pm on Tuesday, 20 May at Cooling Castle Barn. This year there will be two bronze, one silver and one gold awards up for grabs. There will also be a long standing achievement award and these will be given out to carers in recognition of the exceptional work that they have done during the past year. The event coincides with National Foster Carer Fortnight, which aims to promote foster care and encourage more people to consider care of children and young people. Medway Council’s Director of Children’s Services Rose Collinson will attend. The Mayor of Medway Cllr David Carr will present the awards. Rose Collinson said: “Our foster carers do a simply brilliant job in helping children and young people in care in Medway to have a safe, happy, healthy, secure and loving childhood, and a bright future. I’m delighted we have this opportunity to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to the carers who make this possible 24/7 every day of the year.” List of winners: Long Standing Achievement Award: Brenda and Dave Gilbert Bronze awards: Sherry and Andrew Watkins, and Meryl and Barry Dibble Silver award: Ann Buss Gold award: Jill and Adrian Knight Summaries of winners Brenda and Dave Gilbert Brenda and Dave were approved as Medway foster carers in June 1980 and they are very skilled and experienced at working with children under 10. They have been involved in various forms of care, including short-term, long-term and respite. Brenda and Dave were nominated for an award this year in recognition of their work with three brothers, which lasted for nearly three years – the success was thanks to their emotional warmth and sensitivity. The children’s move to their new adoptive home could not have taken place without the input of Brenda and Dave in supporting and preparing the children with a high level of competency. Sherry and Andrew Watkins Two experienced carers who joined Medway in 2006 and were particularly keen to foster siblings. Their work with a brother and sister has been challenging and rewarding. The best endorsement of how well they are doing is that both these young people have told their social worker they don’t want to move – it’s their best placement ever. Meryl and Barry Dibble The couple joined Medway in August 2006 and are approved as respite carers and their motivation to foster is to help children achieve their full potential. This, combined with the valuable experience the female carer has from working at Demelza House Hospice, has enabled them to care for a wide range of children with disabilities. Ann Buss Ann fosters as a single carer and her placements are invariably teenage boys who have complex needs and, in some cases, have moved on from other carers who have not been able to manage them. She has a quality that allows her to gain respect and a natural skill, which enables her to communicate with the young people in her care. Jill and Adrian Knight The couple started as respite carers and after two years of successfully providing short-term care, were approved as foster carers in January 2000 to take children up to the age of five. They are equally skilled at moving children on to adoption or returning them to their families and are highly regarded within the Fostering, Adoption and Children and Families Team.