Foster caring couple who have looked after more than 100 children are honoured
A COUPLE from West Lancashire were among foster carers from across the county honoured at a special celebration lunch at County Hall, Preston.
The event was organised by Lancashire County Council to recognise those carers who have been fostering for at least 25 years, caring for more than 400 children in total.
Ann and Billy Hansen from West Lancs have been foster carers for 39 years and looked after 125 youngsters.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Lancashire’s cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “I’m delighted to recognise the incredible efforts made by our foster carers. I’d like to offer my personal thanks to each of them.
“All of our foster carers work tirelessly to improve the lives of looked-after children in Lancashire. We recognise the importance of the work that they do. This lunch is a very small token of our appreciation marking the length of time that some of our foster carers have carried out this incredibly important role for.
“For many years now they have all opened up their hearts and their homes to provide children with a secure and loving place to live, and they make a massive difference in improving children's lives each day.”
The lunch was hosted by county council chairman, Skelmersdale Central councillor Terry Aldridge, who said: “It was a pleasure to recognise our foster carers in this way. I enjoyed spending time with them and personally thanking them for their incredible contribution.
“Fostering is such a tremendous thing to do, as it gives children the opportunity for the childhood that they deserve, a childhood that otherwise they may not have had. I’d like to say a personal thank-you to all our foster carers.”
The county council is currently recruiting new people who can foster all ages of children, particularly siblings who need to stay together and teenagers. No formal experience or qualifications are needed, all that is required is a spare room and the desire to make a difference to a local child's life.
A package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.
To find out more, call the fostering recruitment team on 0300 123 6723 or visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/fostering.