A carer who has been fostering for Ealing since 2008, has been named Ealing Council’s Foster Carers of the Year, at the annual foster carers’ awards ceremony. Carers were nominated by young people and social workers and the winner was chosen by a panel.
The audience were told on Saturday how Amina Berhe has looked after several children and was recognised for providing a nurturing home to the children in her care, while maintaining connections with the children’s birth family members.
Amina has been providing homes for children and young people for 14 years. She is a warm and considerate foster carer, who has provided considerable support to Ealing Fostering Service. She is also known for taking in additional placements in crisis and providing long term placements, and currently has three young people staying with her.
Council leader, Councillor Peter Mason said: “As illustrated so movingly by the John Lewis advert this year, fostering is the single biggest difference that we can make to a young person’s life. On behalf of the council and most importantly, on behalf of the children that are being cared for, thank you to all our winners for your incredible support and the commitment to changing lives that you demonstrate every day.
“It is so important that we recognise the outstanding achievements of foster carers and celebrate the profound difference that they make to young people’s lives. In particular, I would like to congratulate this year’s winner of Foster Carer of the Year – Amina Berhe – what an amazing achievement!
“However, we know that there is a national shortage of foster carers, and it is increasingly challenging to recruit new carers. In Ealing, we have 300 looked after children and while we are incredibly lucky to have an amazing 117 families who are fostering a young person, wouldn’t it be great if we had more. If you’re interested in fostering, please visit Ealing Fostering Connections at ealingfosteradopt.co.uk for more information.”
Amina said: “Winning foster carer of the year is an incredible honour. It feels so nice to be appreciated for my efforts and is a great motivator to keep doing what I’m doing. It means everything to me. Hearing my respected colleagues talk about my impact gave me a new sense of accomplishment. I started out fostering with the sole aim of helping children who needed help and would tell anyone who is considering fostering that your intention and mindset is the most important aspect. Like any job, you will be faced with difficulties, but if you prioritise the children and stay consistent while having a healthy support system, you will find the job rewarding.”
Cabinet member for a fairer start Kamaljit Kaur Nagpal was also present and added: “Ealing Foster carers provide so much needed support to children, providing them with somewhere to belong and a warm and loving home. We want to thank them for the important contribution they bring, offering them consistency and stability, as they move towards adulthood.”
The annual awards ceremony was presented by Carolyn Fair, Acting Strategic Director for Children’s Services and was held by the council to recognise and reward its foster carers for their hard work and commitment. This year’s event was held the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Ealing and was hosted by Carolyn Fair, Acting Strategic Director Children’s Services. The event was opened by the Mayor, Councillor Mohinder Midha and attended by more than 150 people. Foster carers who have achieved five, ten, 15, 20 and 35 years of service each received an award.
The next fostering information session will be held online on Monday, 5 December 2022, 6.30 – 8.00pm. For further information contact Ealing Fostering Connections on Freephone 0800 731 6550, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ealingfosteradopt.co.uk
Image left to right – Councillor Kamaljit Kaur Nagpal, Portfolio holder for Fairer Start, Amina Berhe, Foster Carer of the Year and The Worshipful, The Mayor of the London Borough of Ealing Councillor Mohinder Midha