Tusla launches campaign to dispel misconceptions

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Tusla launches National Fostering Week seeking new Foster Carers– Campaign aims to dispel misconceptions about foster carer eligibility.

Friday,11th October 2019:  Tusla – Child and Family Agency’s Tusla National Fostering Week will be launched at Dublin’s Mansion House by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe, today at 11 am. Tusla National Fostering Week will run from the 14th-20th October.   The campaign is Tusla’s first national foster care recruitment drive, and it aims to challenge common misconceptions about foster care eligibility. It will encourage people from all walks of life to consider providing a loving, stable home environment for a vulnerable child. The campaign is being supported by the Irish Foster Care Association.   Commenting on the Tusla National Fostering Week, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, said: “Foster care is how we care for more than 92% of children in State care where they live with families, in communities and grow and thrive.  I fully support Tusla in this campaign to attract foster carers from a diversity of backgrounds to meet the needs of all children who need it. I am particularly glad to see that Tusla is developing more supports for foster carers, including out-of-hours services.”   

Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe said: “Communities in the capital, and across the country, have really benefited from foster carers and foster children who contribute to, and participate in, all aspects of local life. I commend the generosity of all foster carers in Ireland. Their decision to foster a child embodies the concept of active citizenship.

“Tusla is seeking all types of foster carers to foster children who need a home because they cannot live with their own family for one reason or another. They need carers for the short-term, long term, emergency placements, or respite fostering.”  Speaking at the launch of Tusla National Fostering Week Bernard Gloster, Chief Executive, Tusla said: “Tusla National Fostering Week is an opportunity to dispel common misconceptions about foster care. We are looking for foster carers from all walks of life to provide safe and stable environments for children who, due to a range of reasons, can’t live at home. It only takes one person to change a child’s life. I would encourage anyone who feels they can foster to think about it and join the 4,254 Tusla foster carers around the country that open their homes to 5,511 children.”   Patricia Finlay, Service Director and national lead for fostering, Tusla said: “We have a growing population and a growing need to respond to the unique and individual needs of each child. This need is particularly urgent in the greater Dublin area and in larger urban communities across Ireland.   “Placing a child in foster care is only done when all other options have been explored, including providing intensive family support services to help a child stay within their own family.”  

CEO of the Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA) Catherine Bond said: “The Irish Foster Care Association is acutely aware of the need for more foster families who can provide children with safe and secure family life. When a child cannot live with their own family, the best alternative for them is to live within another loving and secure family environment.

“Many foster carers will say that fostering is challenging but extremely rewarding, and to enable these foster families to offer the best they can to a child in their care, they need continuous support and opportunities to meet with other foster carers.  IFCA provides ongoing support to foster families and the wider fostering community and opportunities for foster carers to network with each other – along with workshops and training.”

Tusla will begin operating its first-ever national out-of-hours phone service for its foster carers next month. This emergency service has been running successfully in north Dublin as a pilot project since August. A list of events taking place as part of Tusla National Fostering Week can be found on fostering.ie, along with video testimonies from Tusla foster carers.  

To find out more about fostering during Tusla National Fostering Week see fostering.ie or call freephone 1800 226 771.