Foster Care Fortnight aims to raise profile of carers in NI

left to right, Kathleen Toner, Director of The Fostering Network NI, Paul Morgan Director of Childrens Services Southern HSC Trust and Una Carragher Regional Adoption and Fostering Service
left to right, Kathleen Toner, Director of The Fostering Network NI, Paul Morgan Director of Childrens Services Southern HSC Trust and Una Carragher Regional Adoption and Fostering Service

Foster Care Fortnight 2016, Northern Ireland’s largest celebration of fostering, was launched on Monday 16th May.

The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service launched the event to raise the profile of foster care and to promote the recruitment of foster carers.

Foster carers and staff from all fostering providers in Northern Ireland came together for this annual event and were given the opportunity to take part in a variety of workshops.

Kathleen Toner, Director of The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland, said: “Today has been a real celebration. Not just for families who already foster, but also the members of the public who have come along this afternoon to find out more about fostering and have opened their heart to the idea of their family becoming a fostering family.

Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young Peoples Services within the Southern Trust, added: “I hope some people may be encouraged to give fostering a try.

“I would like to assure them that we, like all the Trusts, are dedicated in helping and supporting foster carers in fulfilling their role”

Foster carers may be married, co habiting or single. They may own or rent their home, work or receive benefits, and may or may not have children of their own.

There is no upper age limit for foster carers as long as they are healthy and have the energy to care for a child or young person.

Anyone who wishes to find out more about becoming a foster carer should visit https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/could-you-foster, contact the HSC Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720 137, or call the Southern Health and Social Care Trust on 028 38 337181.