Bathurst foster carers Deb and Gerry Green have been honoured for their work, after being announced as the recipients of the Deb Elsley Memorial Award by Veritas House as part of its Foster Care Week celebrations.
The award acknowledges the significant contributions the Greens have made in providing a safe and supportive home environment to more than 13 children and young people over the past five years.
Ms Green said she was shocked when she was presented with the award.
“There’s so many great carers out there and to think I’m one of the good ones, it’s fantastic,” she said.
Ms Green first saw the need in foster caring while working at a school.
“I saw the need, through some children at the school I worked at. I contacted my agent and it went from there,” she said.
“We’ve cared for 13 children, some short term and some long term.
“Originally, we only went in to do emergency care or respite care but we could see a need for long term care. There were a few children that stole our hearts, so we went into the long term care to help some special, little children.
“If you can change the life of a little child for just one day and make it special, why not do it?”
Ms Green thanked the staff at Veritas House.
“I’ve got a great case worker and the whole team is really supportive and fantastic to work with,” she said.
“It is such a rewarding, life changing experience and you get to work with a great team.
“Our whole family is devoted to being carers, and with the support of our daughters, we have the mentality that it takes a village to raise a child and I would encourage other people to consider becoming carers and experience how special it is for themselves.”
According to Veritas case worker Kate Miller, the Greens work hard to understand the circumstances that lead to children coming into their care.
“Deb and Gerry understand the uniqueness of every child that has been welcomed through their door,” she said.
“They understand the need to provide therapeutic care and are thoroughly deserving of this award.”
The award was presented at the Veritas House Foster Care Week Awards ceremony on Tuesday morning at Hope Church.
It also saw five foster carers presented with 10 and 20 year service awards acknowledging their dedication and contribution to children and young people.
The final event for the week will be a Foster Care information session at the Veritas offices at 106-108 Russell Street office is on Thursday, September 13, commencing at 5.30pm.