Two North West foster carers from the Alpha Plus Fostering in Oldham, part of the NFA Partnerships, have been awarded MBEs for their services to children.
Lorraine and Ralph Brett have been approved foster carers with the agency since 2000. Previously, Lorraine and Ralph were foster carers for Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council from 1986 to 1997. In all they have 21 years of experience.
Lorraine and Ralph have specialised in caring for sibling groups of children with complex needs. They have impressed with their knowledge, tolerance, humour and care. They work in a therapeutic framework, helping children overcome the trauma of their past lives. Lorraine has completed NVQ level 2 and BTEC in caring for traumatized children.
They have successfully rehabilitated children back to their birth families or on to adoptive placements.
In addition to looking after children they have mentored other carers and helped train newly approved fosters carers. Lorraine and Ralph are also great ambassadors for fostering. They have even encouraged Lorraine’s sister and others to become foster carers.
They have given children life changing experiences and offered them the best opportunity to reach their full potential.
Lorraine and Ralph say that fostering has been the best experience of their lives. Said Lorraine: "We have lots of positive memories of the children we have fostered over the years. Hopefully we have many more to come. We would encourage others to apply to foster to give children and young people positive experiences.
Working with Alpha Plus has also been a fantastic experience. They can provide all the help and back up anyone new to fostering would need."
Anyone interested in becoming fosterers can apply to Alpha Plus Fostering, who will offer support and commitment.