Congratulations – 2018 Excellence in Foster Care Recipients

Left to Right; Hoani Lambert (DCE – Tamariki Advocate, OT), Grainne Moss (Chief Executive, OT) Sean & Sarah Martin (Dunedin), Lyall & Kerry Halder (Invercargill), Janice Goodgame (Christchurch), Lynda & Aka Alesana (Christchurch), Perry Bunao (Tauranga), Hon Tracey Martin, Tracy & Phil Inwood (Christchurch), Linda Surtees (CEO, Fostering Kids NZ), Malcolm & Brenda Yorston (Auckland), Allan Boreham (DCE -Youth Justice Services, OT), Trish Langridge (DCE – Care Services, OT) Mary-Anne & John Tahi Tahi (Auckland)

On Friday 9 March 2018 extraordinary caregivers, three individuals and seven couples, from around the country flew to Wellington to be recognised at the Excellence in Foster Care Awards by Minister Tracey Martin at a moving ceremony at Parliament.    The caregivers were supported by friends and families who had come to Wellington to show their support and to help acknowledge the outstanding work that they do.

Minister Martin says she was privileged to be able to host the awards “I have huge admiration and respect for every one of the country’s foster carers.  Your generosity and that of your families is amazing.”

“The carers who win the Excellence in Foster Care Awards are the best of a fantastic group of people who provide hope, love and sense of belonging that all children deserve,” Minister Martin said.

This year’s wonderful recipients were; Eufracia (Perry) Bunao (Tauranga), Janice Goodgame (Rangiora), Lynda and Aka Alesana(Christchurch), Kerry and Lyall Halder (Invercargill),  Tracy and Phil Inwood (Christchurch), Linda and Robert Jones (Invercargill), Sarah and Sean Martin (Dunedin), Mary-Anne and John Tahi Tahi (Auckland) Brenda and Malcolm Yorston (Auckland), Ingrid Chapman (Auckland).  Collectively they have cared for more than 500 children and some having provided 35 years of care.

After the ceremony the caregivers were treated to the sights of Wellington for two days.  They took a tour of Parliament, enjoyed lunch at Shed 5 on the waterfront, enjoyed the Great War Memorial Museum and got a taste of what goes on at Weta Workshop.  For some it was their first weekend away without children in 20 years and others it was their first time out of the South Island!

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 very deserving 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.


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