More than 200 foster carers from across the borough have been recognised for their exceptional contribution to Croydon’s children and young people at a special awards ceremony.
The event, held at the Hilton Hotel in Croydon, was organised by Croydon Council to celebrate the difference these families and individuals make to children and young people’s lives every day. It was attended by the Mayor of Croydon, councillor Bernadette Khan; councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning and other senior leaders from the council.
Certificates were awarded to carers who had dedicated over 10 and 20 years of service to fostering in Croydon – a total of 55 carers received these accolades.
Rebekah Smith was the recipient of the Child’s Choice award – she was nominated by a child who described her as her ‘best friend.’
Tony Miller won the Staff Choice award – voted for by council officers in the fostering service. He was recognised for taking on some of Croydon’s most challenging and vulnerable young people. His passion for helping them redirect their lives onto the right path was of particular merit, supporting those in his care to get back into education.
Martin Williams was awarded the Commitment Award. He has fostered for 18 years – caring for a number of children and young people of varying degrees of vulnerability; providing long term stability and continued support. He is also very active in the wider fostering community – organising activities across the year, chairing the Croydon Foster Carers Association and sitting on the Croydon Corporate Parenting Panel.
The ceremony also celebrated the incredible service of Janetta and Mervin Grant, who recently retired after 33 years of fostering. They have cared for young people from different backgrounds, with high levels of vulnerability and complex needs. They are well known across Croydon for their unrivalled support to social workers and probation partners.
At the event last Friday, the audience were treated to a performance from Project Cypher, a group of children and young people looked after by the council.
“I want to thank our wonderful family of foster carers, and celebrate them for all that they do for our children and young people and the love that they give. Every child is one adult away from being a success – and often, that one adult is a foster carer. They make a real difference”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
The council has 237 foster carer households providing in-house foster placements, while the remaining looked after children are placed in other settings, including independent foster carers sourced through independent agencies.
Demand for foster carers is increasing in Croydon, with a need for additional 200 places over the last three years. To find out more about fostering in Croydon visit www.croydon.gov.uk/fostering or email Iwantttofoster@croydon.gov.uk