Foster carers honoured for their unique contribution to caring for children

Published: Monday, October 11, 2021

Foster carers from across the borough who have dedicated their lives to caring for children and young people have been honoured at a special town all ceremony.

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Some of the borough's foster carers were honoured at a special town hall event

The event was held to celebrate the achievements and contributions to civic life of all Wandsworth’s foster carers.

And at the heart of the ceremony was a tribute to Mohammed Gani who was recognised posthumously, alongside his wife Shirin Gani for their unrivalled contribution as foster carers for more than 35 years. Sadly Mr Gani passed away last year and his award was presented to Mrs Gani in recognition of their long-service together.

Awards were presented to 39 carers in total, whose length of service ranges from five years to 20 years

In his welcome to the awards ceremony, the council’s children’s services spokesman Cllr Will Sweet said: “As foster carers, you provide the love, care and consistency that is so vital to nurturing our children and providing them with safe places to grow and thrive. You support their education, health and social wellbeing. You are there when children are hungry, when they need a hug, or help choosing which outfit to wear on a day out. I want to thank you for the invaluable contribution you have made, and continue to make, to the lives of children here in Wandsworth.

“I would like to use this opportunity to recognise the herculean contribution made by Mrs Shirin Gani and Mr Mohammed Gani, for over 35 years to the foster carers community in Wandsworth and to the many children whom they supported over so many decades.

“Sadly, Mr Gani passed away in the last year, we want however to celebrate his contribution, his passion and his dedication over the years. I am pleased to say that we will be issuing him a posthumous award and we are extremely honoured to have Mrs Gani here with us today as our special guest of the night, in recognition of their long-standing service.

“On behalf of all the children that you have helped through difficult circumstances, I would like to say a massive thank you to all of you, our amazing foster carers and of course to the fostering service staff, the team around foster carers.”

His words were echoed by the borough’s director of children’s services Ana Popovici who added: “In the toughest period in recent history, with the uncertainties and anxieties around Covid……..you nobly welcomed children and young people into your homes, made them part of your families. You provided a safe haven for them to thrive. You have been carers, educators and mentors and were the ones who helped our children navigate complex circumstances, fears and loses whilst you were also juggling tasks and household chores, caring for family members, worrying for those you could not see and grieving for lost lives.

“Thank you for being such special people. Thank you for opening your hearts. Thank you for your resilience. Thank you for everything you are doing day in day out for our children and young people. Your love and care will never be forgotten by them, or by us here, at Wandsworth - from their hearts and ours - thank you.”

Awards were presented to the following:

  • Fostering is incredibly rewarding for those who open their homes to a child and the council takes great pride in ensuring that our foster carers and their families are guided every step of the way. People wishing to foster receive training, mentoring, generous fees and allowances, as well as ongoing support from the service.

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, please visit our #lovetofoster website for more information, call (020) 8871 6666 or email fostering@wandsworth.gov.uk.

If you are an existing foster carer and would like to refer a friend or family member, we offer a word-of-mouth incentive where carers are paid £1,000 upon approval of a carer recommended by them.

Cllr Will Sweet (right) and Ana Popovici (third left) were proud to welcome foster carers to this special event