Celebration to remember for 2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards recipients

Wellington put on a magnificent day for the recipients of the 2017 Excellence in Foster Care Awards. Caregivers flew from as far afield as Invercargill and Orewa to be acknowledged by Her Excellency The Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy GNZM, QSO.

The day started with a tour of Parliament, followed by lunch at the famous Backbencher Pub.

Then it was back to the hotel for a quick change before the ceremony at Government House in the afternoon.

At the ceremony, Fostering Kids NZ, CEO Linda Surtees told caregivers, “you are key to a brighter future – helping and guiding others as we strive for a world where children and young people who are in need of care and protection have every opportunity to be healed and loved.”

“Caregivers play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle – displaying the patience of saints – as they continue to believe in children and young people too many others have given up on.”

Minister for Children, Anne Tolley was also in attendance, saying, “I was delighted to meet and talk to these wonderful families, and to thank them for their patience, resilience and strength.”

Incoming Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Gráinne Moss, spoke about working in partnership with Fostering Kids NZ to support caregivers.

“It was really inspiring to hear the stories and learn more about each caregiver. Children and young people in care need us to be sharing stories like the ones of our wonderful people here receiving these awards. We need more people to follow in your footsteps,” said Mrs Moss.

Each year caregivers, social workers and people from our communities nominate caregivers for what they do for children and young people in care. It is always a huge challenge to choose ten award recipients from these nominees. Award recipients are selected for making inspiring changes in the lives of children, their length of service, team approach, relationship with the child’s family and their role as a leader or mentor to other caregivers.

Following the ceremony, caregivers were taken on a tour to Mt Victoria, before dinner at Dockside Restaurant on Wellington’s waterfront. On Saturday morning there was a trip to Eastbourne and a visit to the Great War Exhibition.

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