LOCAL foster carers have had their hard work recognised at an annual conference.

Dedicated carers with between five and 25 years’ service with the Scottish Borders Council were awarded a certificate acknowledging their dedication and support toward the children and young people of the region.

The presentation was made at the annual fostering conference held at Tweed Horizons on October 2.

Councillor Tom Weatherston (Cons, Kelso & District), who is Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for children and families social work, said: “As always, it gives me tremendous pleasure to acknowledge the contribution that our dedicated team of foster carers makes to the lives of some of our most vulnerable children and young people.

“It is vitally important that we regularly take the time to thank them for the significant work that they do and this annual event gives us the chance to do just that.”

The conference also formed part of the council’s Year of Young People 2018 programme, with care-experienced young people involved in planning the event and delivering some of the workshops.

Cllr Weatherston added: “It also felt important during the Year of Young People that we made sure that the voices of young people who have experienced being in care were heard.

“They are to be commended for their contribution, both to the programme and through the artwork that they provided for display.”

Key themes that were explored throughout the day included education, young people’s health and wellbeing, participation, equality and discrimination, and culture.

The keynote speaker was Lisa Cherry, an international trainer and consultant specialising in assisting professionals working in education, probation, social care, adoption and fostering to understand trauma, recovery and resilience for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Now in its third year, the conference also provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the council’s ongoing need for anyone interested in becoming a carer to get in touch.

Helen Sommerville and her family became carers a year ago and have no regrets about their decision. Helen said: “Deciding to foster is the best thing we ever did. We love being carers. I never expected to be so well supported by the team.”

To find out more, contact the Family Placement Team on 01896 662799 or visit: www.scotborders.gov.uk/fostering