Annual Foster Care Fortnight Launched15/05/2023
The Fostering Network annual Foster Care Fortnight (15-28 May 2023) was launched in Parliament Buildings on Monday morning in partnership with HSC NI Foster Care. They were joined by the Assistant Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health, Peter Toogood, alongside foster carers, social work staff and policy makers. While the aim of Foster Care Fortnight is to raise the profile of foster care, it also presents an opportunity to reflect on what is unique and good about foster care and to reaffirm our commitment to do our best for our children and young people. We heard from foster carers and young people who shared their experience of foster care from their perspective. The theme this year is a continuation of last year “fostering communities”.
With the continuing rise in the number of children and young people needing foster care, the need to recruit more foster carers is greater than ever. Foster carers and their families make a real difference in the life of a child/young person who cannot for a variety of reasons be cared for by their parent/s. Foster care offers a secure and stable environment where they can thrive and reach their potential. Our children and young people tell us they want to live with foster carers within their community where they can continue to attend school, maintain contact with their friends and being involved in the activities they enjoy within their own community.
Una Carragher, Manager HSC NI Foster Care, says:
“We appreciate very much our foster carers who continue to provide high-quality, safe and stable care for our children and young people. Our children and young people come for a range of religious and cultural backgrounds and we are making every effort to recruit a diverse range of foster carers to care for them”.
Kevin and Lorraine HSC NI Foster Carers say,
“Our neighbours who were foster carers inspired us. Our children were aged 7, 9 and 12 years old when the first foster child arrived in our home. As a family with 10 years experience of fostering, our children tell us that although they found it hard at first sharing us and our home with foster children, they feel the experience has made them more understanding and caring young adults. Our youngest says he is going to be a foster carer!”
Our social workers are working tirelessly across all communities the length and breadth of Northern Ireland to engage with communities to increase our foster care population.
Kathleen Toner, Director of the Fostering Network, says:
“We need people in our local communities to consider foster care. In doing this you will enable children and young people in your community to stay in their local school, to maintain contact with their friends and minimise the disruption they will experience”.
If you have been thinking about fostering for some time, maybe now is the time to take the next step to foster for your community. We will provide training and financial allowances and support you every step of the way.
To find out how you could become part of HSC NI Foster Care’s foster care community, call 0800 0720 137 or visit adoptionandfostercare.hscni.net.