Foster parents praised for nurturing, guidance and love
The island’s foster parents have been honoured for their work providing safe homes for children in need of care.
An appreciation tea was held at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, where foster parents and respite caregivers received appreciation certificates and T-shirts in recognition of their efforts.
Five foster parents received additional recognition awards for “the determination, diligence and nurturing they have continued to show their foster children”.
Selena Simons, foster care co-ordinator at the Department of Child and Family Services, added: "It was a joyous celebration as we had 30 foster parents join us, with Terry and Wendi Reynolds, Carolyn Lambe and Marlene Simons present to receive their special awards."
“Sierra Reid, our keynote speaker and former foster child, shared an inspirational and moving speech about how she rose through much adversity to become a phenomenal woman.
“Ms Reid recently obtained her master's degree in education and is a positive example of what Bermuda's foster children are able to achieve despite any obstacles.
"On behalf of the Department of Child and Family Services, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ms Reid — we are immensely proud of you.
Ms Simons said that the department has held award ceremonies for almost 20 years.
She said: “We will continue hosting these events as all foster families deserve to be spotlighted and valued for their vital role in our community.”
Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, was on hand to present the awards.
Ms Furbert said: "Being a foster parent is filled with ups, downs, rewards and pitfalls.
"Bermuda, we are extremely blessed for foster families who open their hearts and homes to provide nurturing, guidance and love for foster children,"
"On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, thank you to every foster parent and respite caregiver, past and present, and the Department of Child and Family Services for your role in supporting Bermuda's foster care programme."
Earlier this month, the Government started a recruitment campaign encouraging residents to become foster parents.
There are 60 families signed up with the Department of Child and Family Services, but more are needed.