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October 17, 2018
Huge congratulations to our Consultant Social Worker, Kate Garside, who was a short-listed finalist at the National Adoption Week Awards.
Kate made the final three in the Adoption Support Practitioner of the Year category at the awards ceremony which took place at the Foundling Museum in London last night, Tuesday 16th October. The awards were presented by Carrie & David Grant, who have themselves adopted a child.
Kate has worked as an adoption social worker for 31 years, working for SFCS for the last 13 years. Kate provides counselling to birth parents and other relatives who have lost children to adoption through SFCS’s Birth Connections service. She also delivers the SFCS family tracing service to adopted adults who wish to access their adoption records or trace their birth family (Building Connections).
Sarah McGrory, Family Services Manager at SFCS, said: “I’m delighted that Kate has been recognised for her hard work, advocacy and passion for the sometimes forgotten service users in the adoption story. Kate has always gone above and beyond her role to support birth relatives, helping them understand the adoption processes and the decisions being made for their children.”
“Kate is also an ardent advocate of people being able to access their own story. Kate undertakes her work with adopted adults with sensitivity and understanding, working at the client’s pace and providing support and understanding.”
Whilst the award went to another worthy winner on the night, reaching the final three recognises Kate’s commitment and dedication to all individuals whose lives have been touched by adoption. A birth mother who Kate has worked with said: “Kate was wonderful and helped breakdown the process of adoption so I could understand it. She also helped me understand how my children were. Without Kate I would not have got through this, I can talk to her about anything and she does not judge me”.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Kate said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege to have been nominated for the Adoption Support Practitioner of the Year award, by my manager Sarah McGrory – without her support this would have never happened.
“SFCS has long been committed to offering high quality services to all those in the adoption triangle and this nomination, I think, is a recognition of birth relatives who are often the forgotten people in the adoption story.
“Working in post adoption support for the past 14 years has shown me the inherent strength of humans. I have had the privilege of witnessing tremendous resilience and healing and, of course, deep pain and loss. Everyone, including those from difficult circumstances, deserve to live a fulfilled life. Having an independent voice on their side willing to advocate for them, hopefully makes that just a bit easier.”
We’re incredibly proud of all the work Kate does on behalf of vulnerable adults whose lives have been touched by adoption. To find out more about the work Kate does, visit our Birth Connections and Building Connections pages.