Husband and wife Mark and Lynn Brierty have been recognised as wonderful foster carers.

The Tarneit residents received the Catherine McAuley Award for excellence by a carer at this year’s MacKillop Family Services Excellence Awards.

MacKillop’s home-based care co-ordinator Kathryn Kelly said that Mr and Mrs Brierty were nominated for the award because they went “the extra mile” to promote a good relationship between the children in their care and their birth parents.

Mrs Brierty said she and her husband were delighted to accept their award.

“We’ve been foster carers for almost two years and it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done,” she said.

Mrs Brierty encouraged other people to consider becoming foster parents for MacKillop Family Services, which is in urgent need of more emergency carers in the west.

MacKillop Family Services’ after-hours team manager Darren Rose said the organisation had launched a new model to help increase the number of emergency foster placements available in the region.

Under the program, stand-by foster carers are listed on a roster for one week each month.

“We just don’t have enough homes in the region for the numbers of young kids who need help in circumstances that are beyond their control,” Mr Rose said.

Contact or call 1300 791 677 for information.