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New foster carers are being sought in Kildare as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on fostering services.
Tusla-Child and Family Agency has today launched Tusla National Fostering Week 2020, a public awareness campaign running from October 12 to 18.
It is aimed at recruiting new foster carers across Ireland.
The campaign, with a theme of ‘Raising Amazing’, celebrates how Tusla foster carers have positively transformed the lives of vulnerable children and young people, and appeals to others to join with Tusla in helping to provide a child with a safe and loving home environment.
In the Kildare area, which is comprised of Dublin South West / Kildare / West Wicklow, there are 372 children in foster care and 311 foster families.
According to Tusla, Covid-19 has impacted on Tusla fostering services by significantly slowing down the assessment, training and communication processes’ involved in the recruitment of new foster carers.
Speaking at the launch Kate Duggan, Tusla Director of Services and Integration said: “Tusla foster carers are invisible heroes in towns and villages across Ireland. They make daily sacrifices to enable the children in their care to grow, flourish, and reach the best of their potential.
“Our foster carers have provided exceptional care to children, especially when schools were closed this year during the Covid-19 pandemic. We sincerely appreciate the work they do, and the legacy they are creating for a new generation of young people in this country. To continue this work, we need additional foster carers. We experience particular challenges in Dublin/urban areas however we are looking for foster carers right across Ireland.”
Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O'Gorman said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on children and young people, and the role played by foster carers in Ireland has never been more important. Fostering offers children and young people a safe, supportive family environment in which they can grow and reach their full potential. We would like to extend our appreciation to the 4,124 foster families who currently open their homes to children, and encourage any other people who would like to make a difference in a child’s life to get in touch with Tusla.”
Catherine Bond, CEO, Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA) added: “The Irish Foster Care Association is delighted to support Tusla’s National Fostering Week. Fostering allows children and young people to grow up in families that offer love and safety if they are unable at a point in time to live with their own family.
"The role that foster carers and their families play in these children’s lives cannot be underestimated. Many of these children are thriving in foster care, attending school, receiving specialist care and most importantly have a responsible adult in their corner supporting them. We would encourage anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch and learn more”.
Terry Dignan, CEO, Empowering People In Care (EPIC) stressed: “Every child deserves a loving home in which to grow up and reach their full potential. Research from around the world has shown that the family setting remains the most important provider for children’s care, and are those most concerned about particular children’s well-being, education and preparation for adult life.
Fostering a child is an opportunity to make a positive difference, not just in that child’s life, but in the family’s life.”
Members of the public who would like to find out more about fostering can call freephone 1800 226 771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org