A special evening staged as a part of a bid to recruit more foster carers in the Southern Trust area has had an overwhelming response – with some TWO HUNDRED showing up!
The event was held at the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown as part of Foster Care Fortnight Celebrations, which will conclude this week.
Organised by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the fostering and adoption information evening was held under the banner of of ‘til I grow up’.
Foster Care Fortnight, Northern Ireland’s largest celebration of fostering, aims to raise the profile of foster care and to promote the recruitment of foster carers.
Over 200 people had the opportunity to speak with carers, meet social workers and learn more about specific children needing placements.
The evening was organised and promoted by the Trust as the number of children who require placements with families in foster care continues to grow.
During the evening, the audience heard presentations from two experienced Southern Trust foster carers – David Thompson and Ciara Heaney – in relation to their respective journeys towards becoming foster carers, and what it has meant to them, their families and children placed with them.
Colm McCafferty Assistant Director Children and Young People’s Services within the Southern Trust, said the evening provided an “excellent insight regarding fostering and the very real and positive contribution it makes to the lives of children, carers and the community”.
He added: “Promotions of this nature are intended to encourage members of the public who have made the effort to come along to find out more about fostering to consider making themselves available to care for children in a foster carer capacity.
“Time and again we see how, with support and encouragement, a child’s confidence can be increased, helping them to achieve in education, employment and community participation and work towards reaching their full potential.
“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 to helping and supporting and training foster carers in fulfilling their role.”
The vast majority of children in care live with foster carers, but there is an ongoing shortage of all types of foster placements, including long and short term, respite and placements for children with disabilities.
Being a foster care does not necessarily require a full time commitment. There are a wide range of children who need looked after for varying amounts of time.
There are no unwanted children. Just unfound families. Don’t rule yourself out.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer or for more information visit http://www.southerntrust.hscni.net/1675.htm alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (028) 3833 718.