TWO Sefton Council Foster Carers celebrated 50 years in the profession earlier this month at an awards ceremony in London. Eddie and Helen Brown, from West Derby in Liverpool, have cared for over 60 children through Sefton Council’s fostering service during the last five decades and were presented with a Long Service Award at the annual FosterTalk Awards last month The couple already had two children of their own and another on the way when they decided to foster children in need of a family. Helen said: “Although we already had a large family of our own, we still felt like we wanted to care for more children and that we had another purpose to fulfil, helping children in need. We both wanted to look after children who had no families of their own, or needed help through a time of crisis. Despite dedicating so many years of their lives to fostering Helen and Eddie remain resolute in their view that it’s them and their family that have gained so much. Helen continues: “Fostering plays a vital role in providing the love and support children need to equip them to face the challenges of life. “But it’s not just a one-way street. It’s a privilege to be able to care for these children as they bring so much fun and laughter into our lives and, through enriching our understanding of their lives, they have also taught us. “I would say that one of the most important things we have learnt, as a family, is to share and to be more giving.” While fostering can be a wonderful experience, like all professions there are lows and Helen believes that one of the hardest parts of the job is when children move on. “It can be really difficult because build such a bond with them. However, we are just a part of the bigger picture of support around a child and their family and so, in those moments, we remember what that it is a privilege to have played a part in a child’s life.” Viv Taylor, Sefton Council Social Worker, added: “Sefton were delighted that Helen and Eddie have been presented with a long standing award by Foster Talk. “We nominated them as we wanted to show how much we appreciated the commitment and ‘Stick ability’ they have shown in providing a loving home and sharing their family with so many children over the years. “Helen and Eddie are true professionals and despite their many years of experience they are always keen to learn more, attending lots of the training courses available and playing a very active role in supporting other foster carers. Many of the children they fostered have kept in touch with them and the rest of their family and some have stayed well into adulthood. This is testament to their life long dedication in supporting children and their families.” To find out more about fostering and adoption with Sefton, contact the Fostering and Adoption service on 0800 923 2777.