SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan, says that there is a real demand to find families, willing and able to support the large number of teenagers in need of foster care.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ in the run up to the Fostering Network’s Foster Fortnight campaign he said: “Foster parents are some of the bravest and loving people in our society, willing to welcome some of the most vulnerable people in our community into their homes. Their care and kindness should not be under estimated but should be commended and admired over the foster fortnight.
“Currently, over 2,100 children live with over 2,000 foster families across the North this is testimony to the hard work of the support networks across the community, charitable and voluntary sector as well as the compassion of the many individuals in our communities willing to help.”
Mr. Durkan added: “It has been estimated that at least 170 new foster families are needed to address the need for 2015 alone. Currently there is a higher demand for families to take on teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups. I would appeal to anyone who feels they have the patience, the skills and the passion to support these vulnerable children to get in touch with foster network. The difference a foster family can make to the lives of a child is invaluable. Through meeting with families and children in foster care, I can see the benefits that stability can bring to the foster child’s life but also how fostering can enhance and enrich the lives of the foster carers.”