Fostering was ‘one of the best decisions’ says carer given award by council


Pam Decaine receiving her award from the deputy mayor of Barnet, Cllr Tony Vourou

Pam Decaine receiving her award from the deputy mayor of Barnet, Cllr Tony Vourou

A Barnet foster carer who has looked after 19 children over the past 20 years says fostering is one of the best decisions she has ever made.

Pam Decaine was one of 13 foster carers to be presented with an award by Barnet Council in recognition of their combined 185 years of service to more than 206 children and young people.

Barnet’s foster carers provide caring homes for over 100 children but there remains a shortage of foster carers in the borough, and the council is looking to encourage more people to take up the role.

Pam said it was a “wonderful feeling” to be recognised with an award, but the real fulfilment comes from looking after children.

She said: “For me, it is about helping to make a difference, seeing their development and milestones – them being, in the end, part of your family. For them, we are their family for the time being until they move along to their new home.”

Pam said fostering can sometimes be demanding but is also very rewarding and fulfilling, adding: “You need to love children.”

“I think it is one of the best decisions that I have ever made,” she said. “For me, it is 20 years but doesn’t feel like that – it just feels like yesterday.”

Pam was speaking after the Barnet Foster Carer Festive Celebration and Awards Dinner, which takes place every year in December.

This year’s event, which was held at Arkley Golf Club, was attended by 39 foster carers. They were joined by fostering service staff, Deputy Mayor Cllr Tony Vourou, Deputy Mayoress Mrs Caroline Vourou, Children’s Services Executive Director Chris Munday, and Director Brigitte Jordaan.

A total of 13 long service awards were presented to recognise between five and 30 years of service.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We work with amazing foster carers who provide love and care to children who, for many different reasons, are not able to be with their families.

“Every day, we hear about what Barnet carers are doing, going the extra mile and advocating for young people and children in care passionately. They are an inspiration to us all.

“More carers are needed, so that every child or young person who can’t live with their family is cared for in a loving, safe family within their community.”

The council holds online information sessions for those who would like to know more about fostering a child. The next session is due to take place at 6.30pm on 15 February, with registration opening two weeks before the event via the Barnet Fostering Facebook page.

A generous financial and support package is available to foster carers in Barnet. Once approved, carers can receive up to £581 per week and the offer includes 24/7 support, extensive training, a dedicated social worker and peer support.

Join our fostering community today and see how you can change a child’s life:


Tel: 020 8359 6274