New drive to encourage fostering launches


A new TV ad hits the screen this evening, encouraging more people to find out about fostering for Belfast Trust and others across Northern Ireland.

The ad is part of a campaign being backed by Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neill MLA.
“We need more foster carers because the rate at which children and young people are leaving care is less than that for children and young people being admitted to care; also children are staying in care for longer periods," she said.

"I am committed to ensuring that foster carers are supported and retained, for those children and young people for whom foster placements are the best way of providing care."
Kerrylee Weatherall, Belfast Trust Acting Children’s Services Manager, added that like the children they care for, foster carers come from all walks of life.
“What many people do not realise is that you can apply to foster whatever your race, religion, language, culture, gender, disability age or sexual orientation. You can also apply whether you are in employment or not; whether you own or rent your own home and whether you have children of your own or not,” she added.
“However, what all our foster carers do have in common, is that they have the time and space in their lives to care for a child or young person.
"To become a foster carer you need to like children, be child centred in your approach and be able to give time, love, fun and security. It is important you are resilient, flexible and have realistic expectations.”
There is an on-going shortage of foster carers in Belfast Trust area. A wide range of foster carers is required to allow for more choice and effective matching of carers to children which helps improve a child’s overall outcomes.

If you have ever considered fostering or simply want to find out a bit more, contact our Fostering Service:
Tel:     028 9504 0057