Foster couple retire after 35 years service
A COUPLE who have fostered more than 130 children have retired after 35 years of service.
Caroline Rejdak, 60, and husband Robert, 67, from Hexton, made the decision to retire from fostering this month.
The couple, who were awarded MBEs in 2009, started fostering in 1976 and have looked after children and teens of all ages. Some of those have been overnight stays, and others for months or even longer. One child stayed with the couple for six years.
Mrs Rejdak told The Comet: “People always ask us how many we’ve fostered, and I know it’s about 130, but I don’t know the exact number. I keep meaning to check, but haven’t got round to it yet!
“We still keep in contact with some of the children we fostered. One boy came here when he was two months old, he’s nearly 21 now, and he doesn’t live here now, but he may as well do! You get those good connections, good memories.
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“We will miss fostering so much, especially the children, and we are still in touch with many of the children we have fostered - it is lovely to go along to the weddings of children we have fostered and the christenings of their own children.”
The couple, who have two adopted children and are now grandparents, were thanked for their work with awards, flowers and cake at their final fostering support group in Letchworth GC.
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They will continue to act as ambassadors for the Herts County Council (HCC) service, helping out with recruitment and training as well as giving advice.
Councillor Richard Roberts, HCC cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I would like to join with the fostering service’s managers and staff to thank the Rejdaks for all their hard work with our children and young people over more than three decades.
“I really appreciate the additional effort that they have put into recruiting the next generation of carers, which continues to this day.
“We hope that many will take inspiration. Please come forward if you feel that you could offer children and teenagers a stable home and much-needed care. If you have at least one spare bedroom and feel that you could foster, we want to hear from you.”
If you would like to find out more about fostering, visit www.hertsdirect.org/fostering