Could you provide a long term home to Mark and Darren?

Western Health and Social Care Trust

Mark (14 years old) and Darren (10 years old) are brothers who are currently living with their adult sister due to alcohol misuse and domestic violence whilst they lived at home. Their sister is unable to care for them long-term so we are seeking a long-term home where the boys can stay together as they grow and develop.  Mark and Darren have a strong bond with their sister and she will play a significant and supportive role in supporting a future placement.

It is undeniable the brotherly bond and a real sense of love, care and protection the boys share for one another, therefore, we want to keep them together.

Mark

Mark is a pleasure to work with. He is honest, considerate and mature in his manner. He is sociable and will engage in conversation giving knowledgeable opinions and views. Mark is a lovely 14 year old maturing into a kind young man.” (Mark’s Social Worker)

Mark is 14 years old. Mark has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder however he does not currently require medication to manage this. He is a pleasant, talkative boy who engages well in conversation and offers thought provoking opinions on current affairs.

Mark has been described as a ‘gentleman’ by his teachers who report he is well behaved in the school environment. Social Workers and Family Support Workers who have worked with Mark have seen this ‘gentleman’ shine through in their interactions. Mark engages in a thoughtful, sometimes serious manner; he is considerate in nature and enjoys discussing current affairs and his love of Classical music. If you suggest a piece of music for Mark to listen to he will listen and give you an honest opinion of his thoughts.

Mark has close friends in school and really enjoys creating videos with one of his friends. Mark takes pride in his role editing the videos and gives this hobby and his friendship dedication and time.

Mark manages daily situations very well and likes to have his days planned so that he can prepare for them. Mark likes to avail of quiet time both in the mornings and as part of his bedtime routine. Mark is engaging and sociable, however what is just as important to Mark is his time spent alone, working on his videos, playing games on the X-Box or listening to classical music. If Mark finds a situation difficult he will ask for some time to process the situation.

Mark lives with his brother Darren in the care of their adult sister, her partner and their young son. Mark has a very close relationship with his nephew and enjoys spending time with him. Mark also has a close bond with his brother Darren and is quite protective of him.

Mark attends extracurricular activities three times per week and also engages in weekend residentials.  Mark really enjoys such events and the staff report that he participates fully in the group setting.

Mark has spent some time with Respite Foster Carers and adapted quickly to the lifestyle within these homes. He has also created positive relationships with his foster carers. Mark has participated in group activities whilst on respite and has enjoyed the company of a few other children whose ages ranged from two years to thirteen years.

Darren

Darren is a mischievous little boy. He has a fantastic smile that will light up your day and although Darren takes time to build relationships- once he lets you in, it is totally worth it. Darren is a little boy who likes to laugh and make people laugh. He thrives on love, attention and praise.” (Darren’s Social Worker)

Darren has just turned ten years old and has a diagnosis of ADHD. He has a very close relationship with both his brother Mark and his sister who provides the care he requires.

Darren is an energetic boy who enjoys playing outside with his friends; he would spend a lot of time on his bicycle and particularly enjoys playing the X-Box.  Darren also engages in extracurricular activities and really enjoys group activities. Staff report that Darren participates well and that he can also get excited and boisterous.

Darren has also spent time with Respite Foster Carers and he enjoys this experience. He has formed positive relationships with carers and these relationships have allowed him to develop new skills. Darren can make French toast from start to finish (while supervised) and his sense of pride when he finishes this task is heart-warming. Darren has also been supported and encouraged to learn how to tell the time and enjoys the praise he receives for this achievement.

Darren enjoys school and he avails of support within the classroom regarding his literacy and numeracy skills. Sometimes Darren finds it difficult to focus, so the use of short sentences when speaking is useful for him.

Due to Darren’s young age he has found the separation from his mother difficult and will avail of support services to address this. Darren experienced much trauma in his early life and sometimes the feelings of being let down are difficult for Darren to cope with. At these times he will shut down and need encouragement to re-engage.

Health and Social Care (HSC) foster carers receive on-going training, 24 hour social work support and financial allowances.

If you would like to hear more about Geoff or fostering in general, please contact Dympna Brogan, Fostering Recruitment Team Manager, on 028 7131 4244 / 028 8283 5264 or email dympna.brogan@westerntrust.hscni.net