The Southern Health and Social Care Trust recently held a Fostering and Adoption information evening ‘til I grow up’ at the Seagoe Hotel, in Portdown - as part of Foster Care Fortnight Celebrations (May 8-21).
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.
The public event took place recently and was attended by 200 people who 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: “Tonight has provided an excellent insight regarding fostering and the very real and positive contribution it makes to the lives of children, carers and the community.
“Promotions of this nature are intended to encourage members of the public who have made the effort to come along this evening 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. However, there is an ongoing shortage of all types of foster placements, including long and short term placements, respite placements, and placements for children with disabilities.
Being a foster carer 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.
If you are interested in becoming a carer visit www.southerntrust.hscni.net/1675.htm or ring 028 3833 7181