Fostering Fortnight, the Irish Foster Care Association’s annual campaign to raise awareness and understanding of foster care in Ireland, gets underway today.
Taking place from March 1 - 14, Fostering Fortnight aims to shine a light on all the valuable contributions made in fostering families every day.
It is a chance for all those involved in fostering, and the communities that support them to tell their stories and share their experiences.
This year Fostering Fortnight is focussing on the mental health and well-being of foster families in Ireland.
The Irish Foster Care Association has put together a range of information sessions, talks and fun family activities, all online, for all those involved in foster care in Ireland, to offer foster carers support and connection.
Foster care is the backbone of the alternative care system in Ireland.
There were 5,877 children in care at the end of December 2020, 91% (5,340) in foster care, 72% (3,829) are in general foster care and 28% (1,511) are in relative foster care. 94% of children in general foster care had an allocated social worker and 91% of children in relative foster care had an allocated social worker.
Fostering Fortnight is an opportunity to celebrate foster care in Ireland and the benefits that growing up in a family environment can have on children in care. This can contribute greatly to better outcomes for children, offering them stability and permanence in a family setting at a time in their lives when they need it most.
Speaking at the start of Fostering Fortnight, Bernard Gloster, CEO, Tusla – Child and Family Agency said: “ I’d like to thank foster carers for all that they do to support children in care. Sometimes children and young people can’t live at home, for a range of reasons, and foster carers welcome them into their homes and provide love, support, and stability. I would encourage anyone with an interest in becoming a foster carer to visit our website, fostering.ie."
Catherine Bond, CEO, Irish Foster Care Association said: “This year has been challenging for our foster families as it has for everyone. But foster carers face unique challenges during lockdown which can bring added stresses and pressures on the family. Some of these challenges are regarding family visits, accessing services and anxiety amongst their foster children.
“This Fostering Fortnight we are focussing on the mental health and well being of the fostering community and we are delighted to offer a range of online talks, get-togethers and fun family activities to support the fostering community during this time.”
Keep up to date on all the activities taking place during Fostering Fortnight, see the website www.ifca.ie and also on Facebook and Twitter.
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