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Every week in the Western Trust two children are taken in to care – Could you open your heart to gi

11 May 2018

Every week in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) two children are taken in to care – could you open your heart to give a child a loving home? Launching Foster Care Fortnight (14 – 28 May 2018) Kieran Downey, Director of Women and Children’s Services at the Western Trust has emphasised the very urgent need for more foster carers.

There are currently 627 looked after children and young people in the Western Trust. Despite the Trust’s best efforts this number is at an all-time high. ‘Foster Care Fortnight’ aims to increase awareness of the need for more foster carers and recognises the central role that existing foster carers play in providing stable, caring homes for vulnerable children and young people.

Kieran Downey, Executive Director of Social Work, Western Trust said: “Foster carers care for children who cannot live with their own families. They provide alternative care where children can benefit from a loving, safe and stable home. They are committed to guiding the most vulnerable children, helping them build resilience and confidence for the years ahead. Some of these children require care for a short time, others need nurturing homes until they reach independence.

“The Trust is urgently looking for people who want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people by becoming foster carers.”

Vanessa Nelis, Fostering Recruitment Officer for the Western Trust said:  “We are asking the public during Foster Care Fortnight to come and meet our staff at our information evenings. If you have previously thought about fostering in the past and never followed this up with us and you are now in a position to provide safe, stable and nurturing home for vulnerable children and young people then we would love to speak to you.  I would encourage anyone with any questions to come along.

“Being a foster carer can be a really rewarding and enriching experience. Recently, we asked some of our children and young people what their foster home meant to them. The feedback was extremely positive with comments including “Fun and loving; comfortable and cosy; I have enjoyed ever minute of it; they are wonderful and caring people.”

Vanessa added: “People often think they can’t foster because they are single, work, or are too old, but none of these things matter. People from all walks of life can foster – don’t rule yourself out. If you are resilient, flexible and have the energy, time, commitment and feel that you could help a child to grow and develop through your care and support, then come along to our information evenings and find out more.  The Western Trust’s information evenings take place on the following dates:


  • Tuesday 15 May 2018, Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh;
  • Tuesday 22 May 2018, Da Vinci’s Hotel, Derry/Londonderry;
  • Thursday 24 May 2018, Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.


Please note - Staff will be present from 4.30pm onwards should people wish to drop in and talk to a staff member from the Fostering Recruitment team to find out more about fostering.

There will also be a multi- media presentation and information sharing talk at 7.30pm which will give people the opportunity to talk to a current foster carer and hear their first hand experiences. A cup of tea and a biscuit will be available and it is our intention to make these nights as relaxed as possible for those attending. 

If you would like further information please contact Vanessa Nelis, Western Trust Fostering Recruitment Officer on T: (028) 028 8283 5264/7131 4244 or email: [email protected]