CHILD Action North West’s Foster Care service has celebrated its 10th birthday and marked the occasion by congratulating its longest-serving carers.
Diane Duxbury and her partner Trevor, from Blackburn, have dedicated their time and commitment to foster care for an impressive 10 years this year and Diane says the continued support and advice provided by Child Action has really helped.
“It’s wonderful to look back over 10 years,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of support in what I’m doing, which is crucial because, like any job, there are ups and downs, but if you keep an open mind and maintain belief in yourself, you reap the rewards.”
Diane first began caring for children within her own family and this triggered a desire to continue making a difference within the wider community.
“I saw the difference it could make to a child’s life and this spurred me to carry on, so I got in contact with Child Action North West and everything built from there.”
Diane and her partner have experienced the whole spectrum of crises while caring for children and young people, ranging from drug and alcohol addiction, to teenage pregnancy and emergency care, but have often had young people come back to them after five or six years for continued support and catch-ups, which is an indication of the positive impact foster carers can have on children in need.
“It’s great to see the kids grow and develop; to give them back some normality and when they come back after a few years it’s encouraging as it feels like it’s all worthwhile, like we’ve really made a difference,” said Diane.
“Foster caring is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done and I will continue for as long as I possibly can.”
Based in Wilpshire, Child Action Northwest began as Blackburn Orphanage 120 years ago. Today the charity continues to look after vulnerable children and young people but no longer provides care in a residential setting. The charity has grown and today the service team, based in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, have been delivering high quality placements for looked after children and young people since 2001.
They continue to provide safe and stable placements to protect and nurture children and young people throughout the North West.
Operations Director for the Foster Care Service Andy Bennett said: “It’s absolutely paramount to make sure the children we care for live in the best possible family environment we can provide.
“These young people tackle a wide range of different problems every day and we aim to support them through the tough times.
“This is where the foster carer comes in. The role is not an easy one, but can be extremely rewarding. Finding exactly the right placement for a young person is the most important thing, but it is also important to accommodate the needs of the carers themselves, as they are the ones who usually work directly with the young people.”
Andy added: “It is vitally important our carers feel able to approach us with any problems they may be having. That’s why CANW has built a strong support network around carers to ensure they get the help, advice and support they need, when they need it. Help is only ever a phone call away.”
Paying tribute to the charity’s longest-serving carers, Andy added: “Diane is an excellent example of a foster carer who is committed to the young people she cares for.
“It’s not always been an easy ride, but Diane and her family have shown great resilience and strength over the years. They work tirelessly to offer the young people in their care a positive experience of family life while raising their own family at the same time – Diane and Trevor are really super parents!”
For more information on CANW’s foster care service, including how to follow in Diane’s footsteps and become a foster parent, contact the placement team on 0800 6345300.