Brent foster carer, Patrice Thomas, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for her outstanding contribution to children's services in Brent.
Patrice, who lives in Kingsbury, was originally approved as a foster carer in November 1984 and has since provided 155 vulnerable children with love, security and a place to call home for 31 years. She is a highly experienced foster carer.
Some of the young people she fostered had fled war or conflict in their home countries before arriving in the UK whilst others had come from troubled backgrounds locally.
"I honestly didn't expect this! I am so excited and happy to be receiving the MBE. It is a great honour to be recognised as a Brent foster carer, not just for myself but for all the other Brent foster carers who work hard to provide a loving home for children and young people in care.
"One of my foster children arrived with me when she was 12 and stayed with me until she was 18. We have a great relationship and keep in touch now. She says that I am like a mother to her. My own two children enjoyed growing up with extra siblings in the home.
"Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience and I would encourage anyone who has given fostering even half a thought to make the call and get some more information. For these children, there is simply no better way to help than fostering."
Councillor Ruth Moher, Lead Member for Children and Young People, said:
"Many congratulations to Patrice for being awarded an MBE. She has contributed greatly to the lives of vulnerable children in Brent over the last 31 years. It is fantastic to see the time and dedication that Patrice has provided to Brent children recognised and rewarded.
We value the hard work and commitment shown by foster carers like Patrice, and we need more like her to provide the children and young people in our care with the support and stability of a family home to help them achieve their full potential."
Find out about fostering in Brent.