In recognition of their long-term commitment to the care sector and to our organisation, Chirstchurch caregivers Graeme and Gwenda Swinney are now officially Life Members of Fostering Kids NZ.

Here at Fostering Kids NZ, we want to show our appreciation of these amazing caregivers and of all they have contributed. Gwenda has been a critical support worker since the service began 12 years ago and Graeme was the chairperson of New Zealand Family and Foster Care Federation when we rebranded to Fostering Kids NZ.

Graeme and Gwenda always go above and beyond to be involved in the community. They have been instrumental in setting up associations/support groups. With their involvement in the Otautahi Foster Care Association and the Otautahi Family Whanau Foster Care Association before that, this incredible couple have offered encouragement and support to their fellow caregiver peers. They have always been prepared to help others in times of need and reassure fellow caregivers that nothing is impossible when it comes to raising other people’s children.

“They are such a strong support for caregivers. They are always there if you just need someone to talk to – they’re happy to stop what they’re doing and listen.” – Justine Keene (Christchurch caregiver).

In 2009, the couple received an excellence in Foster Care Award which simply demonstrates their devotion in the care sector.

Graeme and Gwenda’s family commitment has been demonstrated through their dedication to the children they have cared for – always willing to stand by the young person during hard times and ensuring they are able to stand on their own before transitioning out of care. The Swinney’s even offered two young people the experience of a lifetime when they escorted them to Ireland to a National Foster Care Conference.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being recognised. Thank you guys, for everything you have done for us and so many.” – Linda Surtees, CEO, Fostering Kids NZ.

The Swinney’s are truly inspiring role models. It has been our privilege to work alongside you. So, thank you, Graeme and Gwenda, for all that you have done in your involvement in the care sector.

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