Maria scoops award for foster care recruitment
Recruitment and Marketing Officer Maria White was recognised for her work to boost the council’s recruitment campaign during 2014, which led to a 13 per cent increase in enquiries from people interested in becoming foster carers.
Maria received the Heart Marketing Excellence Award at a glittering ceremony on Friday night (18 June), hosted by radio presenter Toby Anstis.
She said: “This is probably the biggest event that takes place in the county for local businesses, so to be nominated was really special, and I was completely shocked when I found out I’d won. It’s really great to get the recognition that you’re taking the right approach and that what you are doing is making a difference.”
Maria added: “The biggest challenge of my role is to try to open up people’s minds to the idea that fostering or adoption is something that they could do themselves, and that they could really make a difference to a child’s life. It’s not an easy task, but it’s incredibly rewarding to know that you’re helping to change children’s lives for the better.”
The council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “Congratulations to Maria for winning this excellent award. It is richly deserved and reflects the hugely important work involved in recruiting foster carers in Oxfordshire, without whom many vulnerable children and young people would be denied the stability of a family environment.”
Foster carers provide a range of placements from emergency and short-term to long-term and specialist placements. The council would like to attract more local foster carers - particularly people willing to care for brothers and sisters, teenagers and children with special needs - to enable them to remain in-county and maintain links with their families.