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Suzanne and Steve - Foster Carers of the Year 2023

Warwickshire couple Suzanne and Steve have been named Warwickshire Foster Carer of the Year 2023 in recognition of the dedication, support and advocacy they provide for the children in their care.

Suzanne and Steve attended a celebration event with Warwickshire County Council on 8 July where they were presented with their award.

They were chosen for the award in acknowledgment of their work which has been recognised by so many, including the children they care for, their social worker and the wider team around the care experienced children. The support provided by Suzanne and Steve to help the young people in their care face challenges and express themselves was noted, with one of the young people’s life story worker commenting: "I have never encountered foster carers as supportive as Steve and Suzanne."

Fostering is a real family affair for Suzanne and Steve, their children also embrace fostering and provide support to the young people in care, helping them to feel heard and safe and part of the family. The extended family went on holiday together to celebrate Suzanne and Steve’s 25th Wedding Anniversary and renewal of vows celebration.

The guidance provided by Suzanne and Steve goes beyond the children in their care and they also support new fostering families, providing ‘invaluable advice that has helped us to keep fostering’.

Picture of Suzanne and Steve

Talking about their award, Steve said:

“We have been fostering for 18 years and are very aware of the high calibre of local authority foster carers in Warwickshire. Both past and present, experienced carers who have become close friends and, in some cases, more like family. We have also been supported by exceptional fostering supervising social workers along the way, who have offered invaluable advice and guidance and have been an integral part of our fostering journey.

“Added to this, we have had the pleasure and privilege of caring for some great children over the years, we have created wonderful memories together and it has been so rewarding to watch them grow and achieve their full potential. Our fostering journey has presented its challenges along the way, but we have always been able to draw on solid unwavering support of family, friends and professionals when needed."

Suzanne added:

“We are also immensely proud of our four biological children, who have contributed hugely during our fostering journey. They have always shown patience, kindness and empathy to the young people we have welcomed into our home. They are fantastic role models and some of the funniest people we know. Without trying, they put young people at ease in an unfamiliar environment and offer the hand of friendship without a second thought. We are very proud of them and grateful for the joy they continue to bring to our lives and for the beautiful people they have become.

“We believe fostering has had a positive impact on the lives of our family, and to find out we were nominated for Foster Carer of the Year 2023, was truly a very flattering compliment. To win the award has just rendered us speechless. What an honour!

“We recognise the award is not just for our fostering family, but for all of the people that have shown us love and support over the years, family, friends and professionals, who make it possible for us as a family to support, love and care for the young people who come into our lives.”

Councillor Sue Markham, portfolio holder for Children and Families said:

“Warwickshire’s foster carers are pillars within our communities, helping our looked after young people at a time when they need it most. Warwickshire County Council foster carers help to keep Warwickshire’s young people close to their communities, families and friends.

I want to thank Suzanne and Steve for their commitment to fostering, the support they have provided to not only the young people in their care, but also the wider fostering community is invaluable. All children deserve to be safe, healthy and heard, and Suzanne and Steve certainly make sure this is at the forefront of the care they provide.

We’re always looking for more foster carers in Warwickshire, and there are so many different ways to get involved. If you want to find out more then please get in touch with us for a chat.”

Suzanne and Steve are one of 261 fostering households caring for children and young people in Warwickshire. Foster carers offer stability and support to vulnerable children and young people who can't be with their own families. They are well supported by a dedicated team and help to keep Warwickshire children in the county, close to family and community links.