Foster carers have been amongst those included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Read more about some of those who have received MBEs:
Mrs Marion O’Leary is a foster carer in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. She receives an MBE for services to children and families.
Mrs O’Leary has been a foster carer for 14 years, providing permanent and temporary foster care and respite care for 17 children with mental, emotional and physical disabilities and their families. She builds excellent relationships with the families of children for whom she provides short breaks, giving them confidence that their children are being well cared for.
For the children in her care, she makes them feel at home while making sure that boundaries are in place. The children she cares for provide a number of challenges which she meets with dedication and enthusiasm. She helps every child in her care to reach their maximum potential, enriching their lives. She changes her approach for each child, and uses her considerable skills to deal the most challenging children including those with autism.
She has been happy for her role as a carer to expand and to take on additional responsibilities. She has been an invaluable resource to Sunderland Fostering Service more generally, showing much flexibility and readiness to help out in other ways.
Mrs Christine Ann Pugh JP is a foster carer in Cheshire and founder of Another Chance to Care. She receives an MBE for services to children and families.
Mrs Pugh has been a foster carer since 1978. As a volunteer to the local authority she has cared for many children of all ages, giving them stability and the direction needed to thrive. She has cared for children with special needs, giving them parenting, love and discipline.
She spends considerable time in running a support group for other carers, sharing her skills and experience and giving them encouragement. She has a passion for promoting the field of caring and has inspired many others to commit to fostering.
In 2007, she successfully campaigned for the support group to become the charity, Another Chance to Care. She was instrumental in setting this up from scratch, shaping its aim and goals, and giving up time to raise money and organise activities for its members. This has gone some way to reducing the isolation felt by some of the children, and has motivated carers who are helping the cohesion of the family unit. A range of opportunities are opened up to the children, lifting their self-esteem and building trust and self-confidence.
She is also an active member of the Halton Foster Carers’ Forum.