After 21 years of looking after new born babies, Wellington caregiving couple Raewyn and Ian McLaren put away the bassinets and bibs for good this month.
Kaimahi at the Willis Street Oranga Tamariki offices hosted a special morning tea to acknowledge the couple’s significant work, which has included providing a safe and loving home for 113 tamariki.
Wellington Site Manager Cathy Sowden says that, although services these days focus on tamariki and pēpi remaining with whānau whenever possible, the McLarens have provided a much-needed and greatly appreciated service over the years.
“Raewyn and Ian have provided placements for both Care and Protection, and Adoption services. This includes caring for babies and young children until a more permanent home is available, and supporting visits between birth whānau and adoptive whānau,” says Cathy.
“They are very humble people, so we didn’t want their contributions to go unnoticed. We wanted to say thank you for their support over the years, and tell them how much our team has appreciated them.”
This isn't the first time the long-time Wellingtonians have received recognition for their work. Among other things, they received a Queen’s Service Medal for services to foster care in 2013, and in 2018 they were awarded a Local Hero Medal as part of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.