Our work in Northern Ireland

The Fostering Network is Northern Ireland’s leading fostering charity with 100 per cent membership of all foster carers and kinship foster carers 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. This confidential service is independent and 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 028 9070 5056.

Fostering Attainment and Achievement

The Fostering Attainment and Achievement service equips and support foster carers, as first educators, to improve the educational outcomes for looked after children. Fostering Attainment and 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 Attainment and Achievement call 028 9070 5056. 

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 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 operates within the south Eastern Health and Social Care Trust 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. 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 call 028 9070 5056.

Fostering Kinship Support

The Fostering Kinship Support programme is an initiative in Northern Ireland which works to support children and young people living in kinship family arrangements, and their carers.

The programme will help them access support to improve their wellbeing, build their skills and enable their engagement in local services.

For more information on Fostering Kinship Support call 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.

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.