A BROMSGROVE pioneer who has given three decades of her life to caring for children has received an OBE.
Jan Rees was handed her honour for Service to Children and Families from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace in London.
Jan received the award to recognise how she developed therapeutic fostering care services during her 30 years working as a play group worker, a nursery worker, a foster carer and adopter for Worcestershire County Council.
As well as being the executive director of Bromsgrove-based Core Assets Children’s Services, Jan also established Foster Care Associates, the UKs’s largest care agency with husband Jim Cockburn.
She then went on to create The Rees Foundation, a charity for care leavers, and supports the Rees Centre at The University of Oxford which is dedicated to research to enhance practice in foster care and education.
She said: “The whole experience has been quite overwhelming and very humbling. “I want to use the recognition that this honour brings to raise the profile of the many unsung heroes in fostering and children’s services who feel as passionate as I do that we can make a positive and lasting difference to children, young people and families.”
Sally Melbourne, CEO of Core Assets Children’s Services, added: “Jan’s strength of character, and self-belief that a child deserves the best foster care, drives her commitment to protecting vulnerable looked after young people, both during and after their time in care.
“She has always challenged convention in the best interest of those in her care to ensure the best outcomes, and has the very rare ability to inspire and encourage all those around her to reach their full potential.
“We’re all incredibly proud of her.”