A woman who has been recognised for fostering nearly 200 children has described how it has “enriched” her life.

Daphne Tyler, 77, from Rickmansworth, started fostering 40 years ago.

She is one of dozens of Hertfordshire foster carers to be given awards for long service or exceptional service at the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) Carer Awards at Hatfield House on Tuesday, July 11.

Watford Observer: Daphne Tyler, from Rickmansworth, has been recognised for her foster work.Daphne Tyler, from Rickmansworth, has been recognised for her foster work. (Image: Hertfordshire County Council)

Together with her husband Terry, the couple welcomed children of all ages into their home, and following Terry’s death nine years ago, Daphne has continued their brilliant work.

To date, she has fostered 191 children, many of whom she still keeps in touch with.

She said: “I’ve been to a baby shower this week, two weddings last year.

“One of my foster children is now a social worker,” she said. “I’m very proud of them all."

Daphne added: “Fostering has enriched my life.

“I just love children and I just can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see them grow. They’re like flowers but they just need love and care and listening to, and they just blossom. It’s just so rewarding.”

HCC’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, councillor Fiona Thomson, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate our amazing foster carers.

“It’s really fabulous to recognise their commitment, dedication and length of service.”

There are approximately 1,000 children in care in Hertfordshire, and HHC is calling for more foster carers.

The council has recently agreed to increase the skills element of the weekly foster carer payment by 9%. This is an addition to the recent 12.43% increase of the foster carer set allowance, awarded by the government.

Anyone interested in fostering should be aged over 21 and have a spare room.

To find out more visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fostering, text FOSTERING to 62277 or ring 0800 917 0925.

Cllr Thomson added that each foster carer is “valued” and “that is why I am so pleased that we were able to increase the skills payments this year in addition to increasing the foster carer allowances”.