Leap into HSC Fostering this Year

17/02/2016

HSC Regional Adoption and Fostering Service is appealing to ordinary people who have the time and space in their lives to take a leap and find out more about fostering for their local Health and Social Care Trust on Leap Day, Monday 29th February 2016.

More foster carers are needed across Northern Ireland in each of the five Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust areas to provide safe, stable and loving homes for vulnerable children and young people for as long as they need them. If fostering is something you have been thinking about, now is the time to take the leap and find out more.

South Eastern HSC Trust will have staff available in both Bangor Library and Tesco Ards from 12.00pm – 2.00pm and Tesco Lisburn from 10.00am – 12.30pm this Leap Day (29 February 2016) to chat to anyone who has an interest in finding out more about becoming a foster carer. Alternatively you can find out more from HSC Regional Adoption and Fostering Service by calling 0800 0720 137 or by visiting www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net.

Foster homes are needed for children and young people 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.

Becoming a foster carer for your local HSC Trust means you will receive financial allowances, 24 hour social work support and on-going training. Professional HSC foster carers receive an additional fee*.

HSC Trust Fostering Teams welcome enquiries from anyone who has a desire to help a child / young person through a difficult time in their lives. Foster carers come from all walks of life. You can apply to foster regardless of race, religion, language, culture, gender, disability, age and sexual orientation.

Foster carers may be married, single or have a partner, own or rent their home, work or claim benefits, and may or may not have children of their own. There is no upper age limit to who can foster provided a person is healthy and has the energy to devote to a child / young person’s needs.

Jonny, now 21 years old and studying for a chemistry degree at University, lived in long term foster care from the age of 9 years, “Foster care has changed my life immeasurably for the better. As with any family there are ups and downs, but the chance to have a loving family far outweighs any difficult times. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my foster carers”.

Health and Social Care Trusts have statutory responsibility of children in foster care and therefore are in the best position to place children with foster carers.

Currently in Northern Ireland there are almost 2200 Looked After Children (LAC) living in foster care.

Jillian Dalton Senior Social Worker for South Eastern HSC Trust commented “South Eastern HSC Trust require foster placements for children and young people from birth to 18 years with a range of needs. The Trust need respite, short term and long term placements and currently require 24 short term and 8 long term placements. If you are interested in fostering don’t rule yourself out. Make the call or come and speak to us at one of the locations this Leap Day.”

A regional radio campaign will air from Monday 8 February for 2 weeks on a number of radio stations across the Province.

South Eastern HSC Trust is seeking to recruit people who are patient, understanding, compassionate and flexible. Join staff this Leap Day (29 February 2016) at both Bangor Library and Tesco Ards from 12.00pm – 2.00pm and Tesco Lisburn from 10.00am – 12.30pm to have a chat and to find out more about becoming a HSC foster carer.

Alternatively, you can contact HSC Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720 137 or visit www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net and enquire online.

*Fee dependent on professional fostering schemes within each HSC Trust.