‘Don’t rule yourself out’ is the message from the Northern Trust this September as part of a regional Adoption and Fostering Service radio campaign.
It is being supported by local lady, Jean Haley from Ballymoney who has been a foster carer for twenty years.
Many people who have an interest in becoming a foster carer rule themselves out without seeking more information. The 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.
The radio campaign is on air until October 6th on a number of radio stations across the province.
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.
If you have the time and space in your life for fostering call 0800 0720 137 or enquire online at www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net. Don’t rule yourself out.
Jean Haley from Ballymoney has been a foster carer for twenty years: “My husband Tim and I have three children and six grandchildren and we’ve also, over the last twenty years, looked after in the region of 90 children aged between six weeks to eighteen years of age.
“During that time we have been involved in respite, short term, emergency and mother and baby placements and can honestly say not for one second have we ever regretted the decision to become foster carers. These children have enriched our lives and we have met so many wonderful children and their families and have made many new friends and gained invaluable advice, guidance and support.
“Many of the children who have stayed with us have kept in touch over the years - some visit, some write or phone and we exchange cards.
“Tim and I feel very privileged to have met and helped these children and their families through what may have been a difficult time in their lives. It has also had a positive impact on our own children; my son is now a foster carer and my daughter has just made an application to become a foster carer.
“We would recommend fostering to others as it has really enriched our lives and left us with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.”