A Wolverhampton foster carer and the city’s Partnership Missing and Exploitation Hub were among the finalists at the National Children and Young People's Awards 2021 on Friday night (22 October).

Yvonne Taylor, who fosters for the City of Wolverhampton Council, was shortlisted in the Fostering Award category in recognition of her devotion to children and young people in care over the last 12 years. 

She has worked with many young people on a long term basis, providing brilliant support to her foster children, meeting their needs and helping them prepare for independence. 

Indeed, several of her former foster children still keep in touch and visit her on a regular basis – a sure sign of the strong relationships she built with them during her fostering career.

A nurse by training, Yvonne is one of the council's most highly skilled and talented foster carers and plays a Team Leader Role within the Foster Families United project, providing advice and emotional, practical and physical support to other foster carers. Yvonne was previously a winner of For the Love of Fostering awards held by the council in 2019.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton's multi agency Partnership Exploitation and Missing Hub was a finalist in the Partnership Award category.

The hub brings together services that have contact with children and young people who are at risk of exploitation to make use of their combined knowledge to increase the safety of, and protection for them. It enables the systematic sharing of relevant and appropriate information so that there is a comprehensive understanding of risk, threat and harm from all forms of exploitation. This, in turn, informs a balanced risk assessment and appropriate interventions.

Thanks to the hub, safeguarding partners are working more effectively together both operationally and strategically to prevent, identify and respond to exploitation in all its forms, and are developing a comprehensive picture of exploitation in the city which in turn will allow the safeguarding partnership to work together to protect vulnerable children, young people and their families.

There are now around 100 Exploitation Champions across a range of agencies including 36 champions linked to schools and 65 across Children's and Adult social care, early help, the youth offending team, the health and voluntary sector, police, children’s homes and the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit.

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "I would like to congratulate Yvonne Taylor and also everyone involved with the Partnership Exploitation and Missing Hub for their success in being finalists in the National Children and Young People's Awards 2021, which is an incredible achievement.

"The way that Yvonne has helped to transform the lives of children and young people in care, and the impact of the Hub in bringing partners together to safeguarding youngsters at risk of exploitation, cannot be underestimated and I am glad that they were both recognised by being among the finalists at Friday night’s ceremony.”

For more details, please visit Children and Young People's Awards