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Duchess Kate shines a light on foster children and carers

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The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton is the doting mother to two-year-old son Prince George and baby Princess Charlotte, but on Tuesday evening Kate left her children at home to make time for other youngsters.

The royal was shining a spotlight on The Fostering Network – a charity dedicated to foster care – as she attended the annual Fostering Excellence Awards.

The ceremony was celebrating the achievements of foster carers, young people, social workers and others within the fostering community, and was also an opportunity for Kate to hear some inspirational stories.

kate holly © Photo: Getty Images

Kate was presented with quilts for her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Wearing a cobalt blue Saloni crinkle-effect dress, Kate made a much-anticipated entrance at the British Medical Association House in central London.

Accompanied by the host of the evening Holly Willoughby, the 33-year-old who was presented with beautiful quilts for her children.

"My, you've grown since I last met you," Kate said to youngsters Rowan and Ambrose, who handed her the gifts. The Duchess last met the children in January at a previous engagement with the charity.

kate middleton awards © Photo: Getty Images

"The people we will hear about tonight show how good foster care changes children's lives," wrote Kate

She then went from table to table at the tea party, chatting to award winners including three teenagers Emily, Sian and Adam whom she later presented with the Fostering Achievement Award. The trio have all been fostered and were being recognised for their extraordinary achievements.

Adam, who is autistic and lives with his foster mum Carol Webster, has helped Carol raise foster babies at their home.

"He sits there playing them. He is brilliant with them," said Carol, 57. "Adam has his own challenges in life and yet finds the inner strength to support other children being in a foster home and living away from home. He always has a wonderful smile and he is an excellent role model."

meeting © Photo: Getty Images

The doting mum chatted to winners at the Fostering Excellence Awards

In a much broader sense, the awards ceremony was also a chance to applaud every single foster carer, social worker, local authority, fostering service, civil servant, politician, employer and organisation who has a passion for foster care, and who put the needs of children first.

In a foreward to Tuesday evening's programme, Kate wrote: "It is fantastic that we are all gathered this evening to celebrate fostering and the truly transformational care that is a lifeline to so many. The people we will hear about tonight are truly extraordinary and show how good foster care changes children and young people's lives."

kate middleton awards2 © Photo: Getty Images

The Duchess dazzled in a cobalt blue dress

Since becoming a parent in 2013, the Duchess has become even more committed to children's causes. Prince William's wife was first introduced to The Fostering Network in January, when she was pregnant with Charlotte.

The charity's president Jim Bond praised his royal guest for "shining a light on fostering" and Kate was given a special memory box to remind her of her day with the charity.

The Fostering Network brings together everyone involved in fostering to help fostered children and young people to achieve the very best they can. It also highlights the need for more people to come forward and act as foster carers. There is currently a need for at least 8,370 new foster families across the UK.

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