Foster carer’s MBE for taking on dozens of children

December 31, 2013
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A foster carer has been recognised for her efforts in looking after more than 85 children.

Harriet Foges, now in her 60s and retired and living in Wonersh, was appointed MBE in the New Year Honours list and said the news came as a complete shock.

“I don’t feel I deserve it but on the other hand it’s good that foster carers get the recognition,” she said.

“I started in 1986 and had the last full time placement in 2009, and went on to be a respite carer. So I was doing it for 23 or 24 years.

“Part way through that I adopted a child who I had been fostering and for the last 14 or 15 years I’ve been on the adoption panel at Wandsworth.

“Our job is to assess and approve foster carers and adoptions, and match carers with children who have been recommended.”

Having started fostering in Camden, Mrs Foges continued taking in children from London when she moved to Wonersh in 1989.

“In those days they were very happy placing children out of their borough. Now they want to keep them in their own area and schools,” she said.

“It was seen as a positive thing that inner city children could do things like horse riding that they couldn’t do at home. A lot of them said it was like being on an extended holiday.”

During her years of service, Mrs Foges has looked after between 85 and 90 young people. One pair of twins were cared for from the age of seven and then off and on until they were 17.

“It’s extremely rewarding,” she said. “Some are extended family now and keep in touch – some through Facebook. It’s lovely. I feel very, very fortunate.

“This [the MBE] is a complete shock. Foster carers have a low profile but I think people are more understanding now and they are treated like fellow professionals – but it wasn’t like that in the past.”

Mrs Foges has five children of her own and at one point there were eight children in the house.

“I enjoyed it and loved having lots and lots of children around and I feel very lucky to have done it for so long,” she said.

Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/foster-carers-mbe-taking-dozens-6457065


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