Belfast Telegraph

We’d like to try fostering, but don’t know how

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I read your column the other week about adopting a child from abroad and it struck a chord with me.

My partner and I have happily had three children together and we’ve enjoyed being parents. We discussed the idea of adoption but then he suggested we should consider fostering as there are so many kids who could do with a secure family.

I really like the idea; I work part-time from home and could give a lot of attention to a child or children who need it.

Our kids are old enough now not to need as much from us (the youngest is 15) and all three support the idea in principle.

I’d really like to discuss it, though, as I want to be sure we’re doing the right thing for our family as well as for any children we might bring into it.

Could you advise where I could go to discuss it properly? EK

FIONA SAYS: contact Barnardo's

Fostering is not something to be undertaken lightly, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences you could have.

There is a shortage of more than 10,000 foster carers across the UK so the need for people to consider doing so is vital.

To look after someone else's children when, for some reason, they can't be with their own families is a challenge.

A foster carer needs to be able to provide a safe, secure and stable setting but recognise that part of their role is (in most cases) to help the child return home.

There are different types of foster carers and their role is to provide care to children and young people for what may be a few days or even years. It will all depend on the needs of the child.

You could talk to your local social services about possible fostering but I would also recommend you talk to Barnardo's.

People who are considering fostering with them are invited to call for an informal chat, tel: 01912 404 846/7 but look through barnardos.org.uk too.

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