Foster homes urgently needed for children aged 7 – 12

Regional Media Release
28 January 2013

With a rise in the number of children coming into care in Northern Ireland, HSC Trusts are urging more caring people to come forward in 2013 to provide vulnerable children with foster homes.

There is particular need for more foster families across the province for children aged seven to 12, both on a short and long term basis.

All children have a right to grow up in safe, secure and caring family where they are nurtured and developed. Fostering provides children who cannot live at home with alternative care where they can benefit from a nurturing home life for as long as they need it.

Foster carers may be married, co habiting or single. They may own or rent their home, work or receive benefits, and may or may not have children of their own. There is no upper age limit for foster carers as long as they are healthy and have the energy to care for a child or young person.

Applications will be considered irrespective of sexual orientation or religious / ethnic background.

HSC foster carers receive financial allowances, ongoing learning and development opportunities, and 24/7 social work support.

If you feel you could make a difference and help one child through a difficult time in their lives call 0800 0720 137 or visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net for more information.

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ENDS

Notes to Editor

  • Foster homes are needed for children of all ages who are unable to live with their own families. This may be a result of family breakdown, relationship difficulties, neglect, abuse or parental ill health.
  • The five HSC Trusts have responsibility for all Looked After Children (LAC) in Northern Ireland.  As such they are in the best position to place children with foster carers
  • There are approximately 2,100 children and young people living with HSC foster carers across NI (October 2012)
  • Visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net  to read about some of the children / young people waiting for a home and read about the experiences of HSC foster carers
  • To find the right foster home for each child or young person first time round, Trusts need to recruit and retain a wide range of foster carers to ensure children are being cared for by foster carers carefully chosen to meet their needs.
  • A shortage of foster carers may result in these children living with foster carers outside their local area, travelling significant distances to school, being far away from their family and friends, and sometimes split from their siblings.
  • Northern Ireland’s Blood Transfusion Service is supporting the Trusts’ call for more foster carers by displaying fostering information during their blood sessions across Northern Ireland from 28 January – 10 February 2013. Like blood donors, Trusts need generous, giving people who make time in their busy lives to help others in need.

If you would like to interview a foster carer or a young person who has lived in foster care, please contact Michelle Donnelly, Marketing Coordinator, Regional Adoption & Fostering Service