‘Don’t rule yourself out’ is the message from the Northern Trust as part of a regional Adoption and Fostering Service campaign.
The service says that many people who have an interest in becoming a foster carer rule themselves out without seeking more information.
This campaign aims to encourage people to find out more about fostering explaining that “foster carers are ordinary people who make an extraordinary difference in the lives of young people”.
Sharing his experience of foster care, one young man said: “I didn’t settle in straight away. I found it difficult at first but looking back, it was for the best. My foster carers are great. They’re always there for me.”
Ellen Petticrew, senior social worker with the Specialist Fostering Team in the Northern Trust, said: “There are members of the public who have the skills and capacity to become foster carers and make a real difference to the life of a young person.
“However, we know that people have considered fostering but rule themselves out on myths and misbeliefs. We appeal to anyone with an interest to find out more information before ruling yourself out”.
The Northern Trust is particularly interested in those people who may be interested in helping young people over the age of twelve.
Enquiries about fostering are welcome 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.
Former Northern Ireland Health Minister, Edwin Poots, added:“We know that young people in secure and stable foster homes achieve well in school and obtain good GCSE and A-Level results and some progress to university.”
In particular, the trust is seeking to recruit foster carers for teenagers. Call 0800 0720 137 or enquire online at www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net.