The Northern Trust and Regional Adoption and Fostering Team are officially launching Foster Care Fortnight with an event to thank and pamper foster carers at Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena on Tuesday 13 May from 10.00 am – 1.00 pm.
The event has been organised to recognise the valuable service foster carers provide, whether they are offering respite, mother or baby placements, emergency, short or long term care.
The pampering morning will involve foster carers from across the Northern Trust area receiving free hair styling and manicures from the Hair and Beauty Academy. Helen Allen from ‘House of Colour’ will also be holding a workshop on colour analysis and skincare.
Ellen Petticrew, Senior Social Worker, Specialist Fostering Team for the Northern Trust, said: “Foster carers deserve a day for us all to express our gratitude for the wonderful job that they do. Only recently one of our foster carers received a letter from a birth mother saying simply that the support they gave her ‘saved her life’. This shows the invaluable contribution foster carers make to children and families.
People can often be thinking about fostering but are unsure of exactly how it works. We would urge anyone with any questions to contact the Fostering Team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.”
The theme for this year for Foster Care Fortnight is “Guess who fosters?” to raise awareness of the range of people who can offer their support. People may apply to foster whether they are married / co habiting or single, own or rent their home, work or are receiving benefits, or if they have children of their own. There is no upper age limit to who can foster as long as they are healthy and have the energy to care for a child / young person. Applications will also be considered irrespective of sexual orientation or religious / ethnic background.
Fostering provides children who cannot live with their own families with a loving and stable home; it need not necessarily be a full time commitment. Foster carers can look after children of all ages for anything from a few days to right through their childhood.
Health and Social Care foster carers receive financial allowances, ongoing training and 24 hour social work support. The Northern Trust offers fee paid schemes to foster carers of £13,000 and £18,000
If you feel that you could make a difference to a child’s life and are interested in becoming a carer contact us on 0300 123 1155 or at www.adoptionandfostering.hscni.net
The Trust is also holding a further event during the fortnight to bring together foster carers and the children they care for from across the Trust area. The event, which will include face painting and a disco for the children, will take place at Old Antrim Court House on Wednesday 21st May 7pm – 9.30pm.
This event is being held in conjunction with VOYPIC (Voice of young people in care) to provide an opportunity for carers and the children and young people to celebrate together. An awards ceremony will also be held for carers who have completed training through the Trust to recognise their commitment to developing their skills.
Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Deborah O’Brien or Philip Millar on 0300 123 1155.