In June Warwickshire County Council acknowledged the achievements of staff working with children and families in the county, and celebrated the dedicated foster carers bringing security and support to children in need.
An event held in Warwick’s historical Old Shire Hall saw social workers and other practitioners gather to receive awards for their tireless work to keep children and families safe and well. This was the first such Children & Families Celebration event held by WCC, and had the aim of spotlighting the success stories and good work off staff who often go unrecognised.
In total there were twelve categories for awards, including prizes for family support, partnership, education, and the best team. Winners were announced from teams across the Children & Families service area, including Leaving Care, Youth Justice and Children With Disabilities. From teachers, to social workers, to business support officers, a range of staff working in different specialities were all recognised for their contributions to helping build families’ resilience and keep children safe.
Foster carers were also recognised for their work, with a group of foster parents all receiving awards for over 15 years’ service and welcoming children into their homes.
Nicky and Ivan Johnson, who have been fostering for nearly a decade, were given the honour of being named Foster Carers of the Year for their diligence and dedication to the children in their care. Currently looking after three boys, they are still in contact with previous children even after they reach adulthood, and have been widely commended for their compassion and determination to give the children in their care a better life.
Addressing the audience, Nicky said: “I don’t see it as a job, I’m just a mum and he’s a dad. We’re just a family and that’s the way it works. We wouldn’t be here either without the support of our wider family – we can’t do this without each other, and that includes the fostering team as well.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our three boys. Without their participation this wouldn’t work. We just want to make their lives what they should be and give them what they should have.”
Councillor Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children & Families, said: “Often due to confidentially the vital work done by practitioners in the county council and our partners is hidden. Tonight is about celebrating that good work. What could be more important than keeping children safe and making sure all children get the best start in life? The importance of social workers, teachers, family support workers, youth workers, foster carers and other professionals cannot be overstated. I want to thank you for all your hard work, commitment and resilience.”