Belfast Telegraph

Call for more foster carers in Northern Ireland at Foster Care Fortnight launch

Foster Care Fortnight raises awareness of the fantastic work of the 2,000 foster families in Northern Ireland.

Foster Care Fortnight 2018, Northern Ireland’s largest celebration of fostering, was launched on Monday 14th May at an event in the Seamus Heaney Centre, Bellaghy by The Fostering Network in partnership with the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service and hosted by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Foster Care Fortnight raises awareness of the fantastic work of the 2,000 foster families in Northern Ireland who offer loving, stable homes to over 2,000 children every day. It also shines a spotlight on the need for more people to consider becoming foster carers. Foster carers are ordinary people who make and extraordinary difference to the lives of children and young people in foster care.

Fostering enables you to make a positive different in a child's life. It can challenge you, as it requires time, effort and total commitment however to see a child thriving, gaining confidence and being happy makes it worthwhile. Norman and Janice, HSC Foster Carers

Guests at the launch heard from 18 year old Rachel who has been fostered since she was a toddler. She said: "My foster carers brought me into their family and I became one of them. They gave me a secure and loving home to grow up in. I have achieved so much through their support.

To anyone who is considering fostering, I would say please go and explore your options. It is so rewarding to your family and the young people involved. You could change their lives and yours!"

Kathleen Toner, Director of The Fostering Network in Northern Ireland said “Foster Care Fortnight is intended to value and celebrate foster carers. If you gave fostering a thought now is the time to come forward and make a difference to a child’s life”.

Una Carragher, Manager of the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service said:

Today we want to raise awareness of the ongoing need for more foster families across Northern Ireland. There are people out there who could make a real difference to the life of a child or young person. However, some people rule themselves out of becoming a foster carer on myths and misbeliefs. If you are interested find out more from your local Trust before ruling yourself out.

If you are caring, resilient, flexible, and have the time and space in your life to care for a child or young person we would be happy to hear from you.

Please phone the Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720137 or visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net

Download your Fostering Information pack here: http://www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net/Fostering-Brochure.pd

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