Foster carers from across Lancashire who have looked after children for many years have been honoured with a lunch at County Hall.
The celebration, held yesterday on Tuesday February 6, was attended by foster carers from across Lancashire, along with county councillors and senior officers.
These foster carers have all been fostering for at least 25 years, caring for more than 400 children in total during this time.
The foster carers included Mary and Thomas Williams from Morecambe, who have been foster carers for 27 years and have looked after 52 children, as well as Marie and Ken West from Lancaster, who have been foster carers for 40 years and have looked after 101 children.
County Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Schools, attended the event and said: “I’m delighted to recognise the incredible efforts made by our foster carers. I’d like to offer my personal thanks to each of them.
“All of our foster carers work tirelessly to improve the lives of looked after children in Lancashire.
“We recognise the importance of the work that they do. This lunch is a very small token of our appreciation marking the length of time that some of our foster carers have carried out this incredibly important role for.
“For many years now they have all opened up their hearts and their homes to provide children with a secure and loving place to live, and they make a massive difference in improving children’s lives each day.”
County Coun Terry Aldridge, chairman of the county council, hosted the lunch.
He said: “It was a pleasure for me to host a lunch in their honour and to recognise our foster carers in this way. I enjoyed spending time with them, and personally thanking them for their incredible contribution.
“Fostering is such a tremendous thing to do, as it gives children the opportunity for the childhood that they deserve, a childhood that otherwise they may not have had. I’d like to say a personal thank you to all our foster carers.”
The county council is currently recruiting new people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and teenagers.
No formal experience or qualifications are needed; all that is required is a spare room and the desire to make a difference to a local child’s life.
A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.
If you want to find out more, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering