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The Northern Ireland foster children moving home two or three times a year

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 21/09/2015

A quarter of children fostered in Northern Ireland have to move home two or three times a year, a leading charity has revealed.

Anne Davidson, a co-ordinator for Action for Children who has fostered scores of youngsters, said it jeopardised chances of a stable future.

She said the upheaval that comes with frequent changing of homes affected happiness and feelings of security.

Her charity has launched an urgent appeal to recruit more foster parents to help provide a longer period of care.

A Freedom of Information request by the organisation showed that out of 1,887 children fostered in Northern Ireland from April 2014 to March 2015, one in four moved two or three times.

And according to the charity's own information, children as young as four have had to move.

The upset for children of having to leave their foster family, school and friends can cause poor social skills, reduced educational achievement and limited future employment prospects.

Dawn Shaw, Action for Children's operation director for children's services, said: "That's why we urgently need more dedicated foster carers to help children and young people overcome trauma by helping them to love and trust again."

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