Our work in Northern Ireland

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The Fostering Network is Northern Ireland’s leading fostering charity with 100 per cent membership of all foster carers and kinship foster carers, over 2,000 in total, and all statutory and independent fostering service providers as corporate members.

Find out the current numbers of fostered children and foster carers in Northern Ireland, as well as our latest recruitment targets, or read more about fostering legislation in Northern Ireland.

Advice and Information

The Fostering Network offers information, advice and support to foster carers, kinship foster carers and others working in the area of fostering. The service is independent and confidential and is complementary to the support provided by the health and social care trusts and independent fostering providers. We also deliver finance workshops for foster carers and other professionals involved in fostering.

If you would like to access our advice and information service please contact Doris Dickison on 028 9070 5056.

Fostering Achievement

The Fostering Achievement project aims to equip and support foster carers, as first educators, to improve the educational outcomes for looked after children. Fostering Achievement views education in its broadest sense and promotes learning and development in a variety of ways to help children and young people learn new skills, develop and enhance natural talents, pursue new interests, improve learning and gain a real sense of self -worth and achievement.

For more information on Fostering Achievement call 028 9070 5056

Fostering the Future

Fostering the Future is an innovative project funded by The Big Lottery’s Reaching Out Empowering Young People Programme. The project aims to work directly with foster carers and young people in foster care to meet their training, development and support needs.

Combating negative life events, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, developing skills and assisting with transitioning from child care to adult independence are key areas of focus for the work with children and young people within this project. It is hoped that through engaging with Fostering the Future, foster carers will feel better equipped to meet the needs of fostered children.

For more information on Fostering the Future call Mikhaila Woods or Lauren Hinds on 028 9070 5056

Not So Broken

'Maybe I’m not as broken as I’ve sometimes felt’ are the words of 18-year-old Johnny reflecting on his experiences of foster care. 

Johnny’s story is one of 13 told by looked after young people and their foster carers in a book published by The Fostering Network Northern Ireland.

As well as the book, the Not So Broken project included an exhibition of artistic work by over 100 children and young people in foster care across Northern Ireland. The exhibition was held over five days at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, and was opened by Communities Minister Paul Givan.

The third element of the Not So Broken project was a short, moving animation in which young people from Northern Ireland share either experiences of foster care.

Step Up Step Down

Step Up Step Down is funded by The Big Lottery Fund as part of their Reaching Out Supporting Families programme. This five-year project aims to prevent children, who are on the periphery of the care system, from being taken into care and instead support them to stay within their own homes. The project will operate within the south Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) area.

This is a pilot project that could dramatically change the approach to caring for children who are at risk, including reducing the number of children who are taken into care. The project meets the Supporting Families programme outcomes by helping parents develop appropriate child care skills and support networks. We hope to see vulnerable families build their capacity, confidence, skills and knowledge to parent their children safely and within their communities. This “upstream” approach will work across child protection and safeguarding, looked after children services, fostering and family support to ensure fewer children are looked after.

For more information on Step Up Step Down contact Kathleen Toner or Nikki Gregg on 028 9070 5056.