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Omagh couple receive prestigious award for being caring foster parents

Helene and Andrew Goodwin who were named ‘Foster Carers of Distinction’ at Northern Ireland’s Foster Carer of the Year Awards 2018.

FOR their inspirational commitment to supporting children in foster care, an Omagh couple have picked up a prestigious award 

Helene and Andrew Goodwin have been named ‘Foster Carers of Distinction’ at Northern Ireland’s Foster Carer of the Year Awards 2018.

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Hosted by The Fostering Network in partnership with the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service, the pair received their accolade at the glittering awards ceremony on Saturday in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast.

Caring by nature, Helene loves being a mum and when her son became an independent teenager, she felt she still had a lot of love to give and decided to foster for the Western Trust.

The couple have been tirelessly passionate about fostering for the last four years – and it was this advocacy for the children and young people they look after that impressed the judging panel.

Helene told the judging panel, “If they [her foster children] can manage today, I can manage today.

“We are better, kinder people for having fostered.”

Social worker Jemma Harkin who nominated the couple said, “Helene and Andrew provide a loving, nurturing family home whereby children can feel accepted and safe. Helene has a natural ability to understand their needs.”

Kathleen Toner, Director of The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland, said that it was a real pleasure to meet Helene and Andrew and hear about the real difference they are making to children’s lives.

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“Their commitment to support children in foster care is inspirational,” she described.

• If you think that you have the relevant skills to be able to look after fostered children, enjoy a challenge and have a spare room, find out more by visiting: www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/couldyoufoster

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