Susan and George Price from Liverpool have received the Foster Carers Long Service Award at the prestigious FosterTalk Foster Carer Awards.
Ten awards to recognise the dedication of foster carers in the UK were handed out by Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families, and TV chef Lorraine Pascale, at a special ceremony in London.
Hundreds of foster carers were nominated for the awards, established to mark the 10th anniversary of FosterTalk, a service set up to provide nationwide specialist independent support to foster carers in areas such as legal and financial advice and counselling.
Susan and George, who are foster carers with Liverpool City Council, were nominated by social worker, Kate Lee, for their dedication to fostering for more than 40 years and the enormous difference they have made to more than 300 children in their care during that time. She describes them as “highly skilled” and praised their commitment to providing excellent care to the many children placed with them over the years..
Susan said: “My Mum was a foster carer, so I grew up knowing the difference it can make to young people. Over the years, we’ve looked after babies and large sibling groups – sometimes five children at the same time! It is hugely rewarding and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. It’s fantastic to receive this award, but we already feel lucky as fostering has given us a lifetime of happiness.”
Bernie Brown, Assistant Director of Children’s Services at Liverpool City Council, said: “Susan and George are outstanding examples of foster carers in Liverpool and we are lucky to have them. We desperately need to recruit more carers like them who are prepared to meet the diverse needs of the children in our care. Susan and George are shining lights in the foster care world and they are very worthy winners of this award.”
Melody Douglas, managing director of FosterTalk, comments: “We work with foster carers on a daily basis and are proud to be able to recognise the positive impact they make on the lives of others through these awards. We had hundreds of entries which made it very hard for our judges, but this award for Susan and George is well deserved and we hope it inspires other people to consider becoming foster carers.
Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, who grew up with around 90 foster brothers and sisters, said: “As someone from a foster family, I know how vital it is for foster carers to have access to support as and when they need it – from the moment they welcome a new child into their home to the moment they leave. FosterTalk has provided invaluable help and advice to foster carers over the past 10 years, making sure they have everything they need to provide a stable, loving home. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to both FosterTalk and the foster carers they support for everything they do to make a difference to the lives of foster children.”
Having been fostered at the age of eight, Lorraine Pascale understands what it takes to be a great foster carer. Commenting on her involvement in the awards, she said: “I am proud to be a part of this celebration which shines a light on the important role that foster carers play in our communities. I know, from personal experience, the transformational difference they can make to the children in their care and the availability of the type of support offered by FosterTalk is crucial to successful placements.”
Today FosterTalk helps more than 21,000 foster carers nationwide, working alongside over 120 fostering providers in the support of their foster carers.