Care Leaver, Shannon Joyce and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman pictured at the launch of Tusla National Fostering Week 2022.
Across Ireland 3,984 foster carers currently open their homes to 5,265 children.
In the Midlands area, which includes Laois, Longford, Offaly, and Westmeath there are currently 305 children in foster care.
This week, February 21 - 27, is Tusla National Fostering Week 2022.
Now in its third year, the campaign focuses on the need to recruit carers for older children in communities across Ireland.
Foster carers play a critical role in the child protection system and ultimately a key role in the wellbeing of young people.
A local placement will ensure a young person can maintain important connections with their friends, sports, school, and community, and reach their full potential.
Speaking at the launch of Tusla National Fostering Week 2022 Kate Duggan, National Director of Services and Integration, Tusla said: “Tusla foster carers provide a safe, secure and stable home environment for the most vulnerable in our society.
Right now, there are children and young people in your community who may need a safe place to live. A local placement will ensure they can maintain connections with their friends, sports, school and community. If you have been considering fostering, we would urge you to have another think about the positive difference you would make in the life of children and young people in your community.”
Tusla Care Leaver, Shannon Joyce said: “I first went into relative foster care with my younger brother and sister when I was seven years old. I stayed with my family until summer 2021. My whole experience of foster care has been a rollercoaster to say the least. I've met so many people and heard so many stories throughout the years. I wouldn't change a thing! I'm so happy that I can take all the experiences I have had and all the lessons I have learned and use them to be the best role model and mentor I can be for the young people I teach. Fostering can be an amazingly positive experience for the carers, and children. If it’s something you are feeling drawn to you can learn more about it on fostering.ie”
Catherine Bond, CEO, Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA) said: “The Irish Foster Care Association is delighted to support Tusla’s National Fostering Week.
"Fostering provides a loving and stable environment in which a child or young person can reach their full potential. The transition to foster care can be challenging for any child, but older children and teenagers are at a particularly important time in their development.
"An increase in local foster carers across Ireland will enable a young person to maintain their connections with their friends, sports, school and community, all of which provide comfort in difficult times. We would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch and learn more”.
Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O'Gorman TD said: I would encourage anyone who is considering becoming a foster carer to contact Tusla on the details provided and to make that first step in improving the wellbeing and happiness of some of our most vulnerable children.”
To find out more about becoming a foster carer, see fostering.ie, call freephone 1800 226 771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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