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The Fostering Network Northern Ireland welcomes the appointment of Simon Hamilton MLA as health minister for Northern Ireland, and is calling on him to make children, and fostering, a priority over the course of his time in office.

Margaret Kelly, director of The Fostering Network Northern Ireland, said: “Simon brings to this role a wealth of experience in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and as Minister for Finance. He knows some of the challenging fiscal realities that are affecting families across the country. We hope that he uses this knowledge to prioritise the needs of looked after children and fostering so that all children have an equal chance of a positive future.

“We want Northern Ireland to be the best place for a looked after child to grow up, and we call on Simon to bring forward the fostering regulations, and to ensure that standards for foster care in Northern Ireland are developed, so that as a society we can make this a reality.

“The Fostering Network Northern Ireland is hugely ambitious for our looked after children, and we look forward to working with Simon and the wider fostering community to continue to make positive change in the future.”