An inspiring couple from Gloucester have been recognized for 10 years in foster care, during which they cared for young asylum seekers, babies and a youngster who went through several traumatic moves before settling down .
Maureen and Robert Kerr provided a home for vulnerable children and young people of all ages during their stay in foster care with Gloucestershire County Council.
The Abbeymead couple transferred to private agency counseling in 2011, seeking better support and training, and over the years have allowed the children to remain in their community to minimize disturbances in their lives.
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Although the couple are now moving to Warwickshire to be closer to family, Gloucestershire County Council has presented them with a gift voucher to thank them for all their years of service.
During their stay at GCC, the couple took in two young people who stayed with them, including an unaccompanied asylum seeker, and another boy who experienced countless moves between foster homes.
Maureen said: “We took in a youngster who had been through an appalling amount of moving between different homes, who stayed with us from 2010 until 2021 when he was ready for independence. He is and always will be part of our family.
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“We also took in two unaccompanied asylum seekers and one of these young men is now part of our family. More recently we’ve adopted babies, supporting our latest baby until her adoption at the end of 2021, and while it’s very sad to say goodbye, we know these babies had an amazing start.
Although the couple are moving to Warwickshire, having seen the difference they can make in children’s lives and knowing the importance of helping children stay in the area, they will become foster parents for their new authority. local.
“We are leaving Gloucestershire to help our grandchildren in Warwickshire, but we are not quite ready to leave foster care yet and have already set the wheels in motion to continue our journey with our new board” , said Maureen.
The couple wanted to thank Ros Longwill, a supervising social worker, for the incredible support they received from her. Ros said: “It has been wonderful and encouraging to travel with them over the years, to be able to support them as they looked after the children.
“Any foster family has its challenges, but welcoming babies can be a particularly emotional experience when it comes time to adopt them. Maureen and Robert had both the skills, professionalism and caring to fulfill this role, so thank you.
Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Child Protection and Early Years at Gloucestershire County Council, said: ‘Maureen and Robert are an inspiration and I want to thank them for all they have done to support the children of Gloucestershire.
“Too often, children have to move to foster families far from where they live, and siblings are separated.
“We call on families, couples and individuals to contact us now for a no-obligation discussion about joining our local foster family, where assessment, training and extensive ongoing support are available to all. foster parents. If you have space in your heart and in your home, with a desire to make a difference in the life of a child, please contact us.
Whether you are employed or not, live alone or with family, if you are interested in a host family visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/fostering or call 01242 532654 to find out more.