A FOSTER carer who “always goes above and beyond” has scooped Warwickshire’s Foster Carer of the Year Award.
Andrea Hunt, who has fostered over 100 children during her 25 years as a foster carer, received the award from Warwickshire County Council (WCC) at a special ceremony.
The award was in recognition of her “unwavering support” proving a ‘safe place’ for children – in particular unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Afghanistan, many of whom come to the UK after experiencing terror and abuse. Andrea always gives these children the positive start they need, supporting them to adjust to a new language and culture.
She recently helped two young Afghan boys to move into their own home and she continues to support many who have left her care.
Andrea even converted to Islam herself after fostering several Muslim children and is now is an influential spokesperson within the Muslim community. She has given talks all over the country at events to help raise awareness of looking after Muslim children and to encourage more Muslim people to become foster carers.
Described by foster care social workers as passionate and always going above and beyond, Andrea has shown resilience in managing a variety of challenges during her fostering career whilst always providing consistent and positive support to young people.
Coun Izzi Seccombe, WCC Leader said: “Warwickshire foster carers do a fantastic job supporting young people every day. Their hard work and dedication makes a huge difference to the lives of children they look after and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for all they do.
“We recently achieved good Ofsted, a result of our collective commitment to be the best we can be for children and those who care for them. All those who foster are critical to this, there is no greater service than opening your home, family, heart and life to someone who needs support. It is a unique role as varied as the needs of the children coming into care and the council recognises and respects everyone’s efforts.
“Andrea is so deserving of the foster carer of the year award. She is a fantastic example of someone who is making Warwickshire a more child friendly county. We are always looking for more foster carers like Andrea”.
While Andrea said: “I work closely with the Afghan community and I am also starting to work more with Sudanese young people. Help from my foster care support workers and the council is great. My biggest thank you goes to my children who have fostered alongside me since they were very small and now as adults supporting me with my wider work”.