NFA Betty Bennett Award & Long Service Awards took place at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on 14 January 2017.
The Betty Bennett award was created in fond memory of one of NFA's most inspiring foster carers, Betty Bennett from Lewisham who, before her death in 2008, fostered over 2000 children, many of whom had complex and challenging needs.
This year saw the Carer Awards ceremony being held with as much glitz and glamour, it could've been the Academy Awards. The awards were for the 3rd Betty Bennett Award and the Long Service Awards, which had a cumulative total of over 200 years in one room.
The ceremony, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms; London, hosted over 300 foster carers to recognise and celebrate the contribution of so many carers who dedicate their time to make a positive difference to so many children.
The high standard of nominations this year from carers who really go the extra mile to ensure that the standard of support that they provide is of the highest quality and then the young people in their care are afforded opportunities to achieve positive outcomes for their future. We are proud of the carers who work with us to make such a positive difference to the lives of so many children every day.
The Betty Bennett Award 2016 was presented by Isabelle Hutchinson, Group Operations Director, to local foster carers Jayne & Ken in acknowledgment for their dedication and incredible work they have done with many children who have entered their care over the last 12 years.
Jayne & Ken have been with NFA for over 12 years, during which time they have devoted themselves to caring for 22 young children. They have provided long-term placement options to children with high level of physical and emotional needs in particular offering permanency to children with significant health needs and life limiting conditions.
One Social Worker wrote: The carers in question are never anything but professional, welcoming, caring and effective.
They are excellent advocates for N, never letting his disability being a barrier to taking part in a range of activities and giving him a full range of experiences. They continuously juggle hospital appointments in many different hospitals alongside managing the demands of their other complex looked after children and their own family, without every slipping up or moaning.
Throughout this long term placement they have managed the difficult job of providing N with a loving and stable home, whilst allowing his parents to be a full part of his life. They have never felt excluded and have always supported the placement and spoken of these carers in the warmest terms.
Jayne & Jen, recognise that fostering is an emotionally demanding role, but have always ensured that they access the right training and support, using this effectively to enable the care they provide to be outstanding. They understand the changing demands of fostering and the journey that new carers go on and have taken on individual roles within NFA to support the team and ensure that all carers feel very supported and have a voice within the organisation.
The National Fostering Agency Director of Operations, Isabelle Hutchinson said "These carers recognise that fostering is an emotionally demanding role, but have always ensured that they access the right training and support, and using this effectively to enable the care they provide to be outstanding."