Urgent need for foster carers to step forward


Action For Children Northern Ireland has revealed an urgent need for carers to step forward in Banbridge.

According to the organisation, a new survey reveals that 72 per cent of adults in the local area are unlikely to consider becoming a foster carer.

“This alarming statistic reveals the scale of the problem and that we need foster carers to come forward now,” said Avery Bowser, Children’s Services Manager in Northern Ireland.

“All over the country we have children and young people who desperately need the stability that a foster carer can give them. We’re faced with a big misconception that only certain people from certain backgrounds can foster.”

More than 4,000 people were polled across the country as part of Action For Children’s ‘Spare Room’ programme - #myspareroom

The survey revealed 71 per cent of adults questioned in Banbridge have a spare room, but of those 40 per cent use them for storage and seven per cent are left empty.

Only a small minority said they would consider using their spare room to make a life changing difference for a child in need.

There are more than 2,200 children in care in Northern Ireland, with 80 per cent living in foster placements. The number of children in care has been increasing since 2006.

Throughout September Action for Children Northern Ireland is undertaking a new drive to recruit more foster carers.

“We need people from all walks of life,” Avery explained. “Our foster carers need to be diverse because our children are all different.

“There’s a myth that only certain people can foster. We want to hear from people who can provide warm, stable homes irrespective of sexuality, marital status or community background.

“All kinds of people can foster. You have to be over 21, have a spare room, the ability to work with children and have the time in your life to give.”

To find out more call Action for Children’s fostering team on 028 9046 0500 or email fostercareni@actionforchildren.org.uk