Fostering a child: Information evenings in Derry and Strabane

Pictured launching Western Trusts Fostering and Recruitment Information events for October 2016 across the Western Trust area from left to right are: Lorna Rankin; Karen Fox; Colette Patton; Quintin OKane; Dympna Brogan; Christine Donaghy; Clare McCallion and Cecilia Kelly.

Pictured launching Western Trusts Fostering and Recruitment Information events for October 2016 across the Western Trust area from left to right are: Lorna Rankin; Karen Fox; Colette Patton; Quintin OKane; Dympna Brogan; Christine Donaghy; Clare McCallion and Cecilia Kelly.

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Those interested in fostering have been urged to attend an information evening organised by the Western Trust.

The event will be held at Da Vinci’s Hotel in Derry on Thursday October 13 at 7.30 pm.

There will be another information event prior to this on Tuesday October 11 at the Fir Trees Hote in Strabane at 7.30pm.

The information evenings follow an urgent appeal for new foster carers to come forward as the number of children who require permanent placements with families in foster care continues to grow.

Across the Western Trust there are children of all ages who may never be able to live with their birth parents.

The vast majority of these children in care live with foster carers. However, in the Western Trust area, there is an ongoing shortage of ‘forever homes’ where the child will live long term with the same family for the rest of their childhood.

Clare McCallion, Service Manager for the Western Trust Fostercare Services said: “The Western Trust is eager to invite a range of people in the community to consider offering a child a loving, nurturing home ‘to grow up in’. Across the Trust area there are children of all ages who may not be able to live with their birth family. These children need a permanent home for the rest of their childhood.”

She added: “The Trust are also committed to finding placements for children on a short-term basis – maybe this would suit your family? People from all walks of life can foster – don’t rule yourself out. If you are resilient, flexible and have the energy, time and commitment to take on the demands of being a foster carer or adoptive parents, please come along to our information sessions to talk to experienced social workers and foster carers and children and hear about the range of support which are offered to all foster carers.”

Western Trust Foster Carer Mary commented: “I would recommend fostering to anybody who had any inkling that it’s something they want to do. It’s very rewarding and enjoyable. There are challenges, but with the help and support of your social worker and the child’s social worker, you’re never left to deal with anything on your own – everyone is a phone call away. When you see a child develop through what you have done for them it’s so rewarding. Don’t rule yourself out. Just pick up the phone and talk to someone from the fostering team or go along to your local information session to find out more.”

Anyone who feels they have the time and space in their life to foster please contact the Fostering Recruitment & Assessment Team on 028 8283 5264/71314244 or email: marie.walsh@westerntrust.hscni.net

Alternatively you can call HSC Regional Adoption and Fostering Service on 0800 0720 137 or enquire online.