Online app for foster carers launched

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Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Fostering AppA new Health and Social Care (HSC) App for HSC foster carers, ‘Fostering in a Digital World’ has been launched, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The App uses an innovative platform that has been developed specifically for and with HSC foster carers and in partnership with the INEQE Group. It is currently available for download from Android and Apple stores for all HSC foster carers.
  At the launch in Parliament Buildings, Chief Social Work Officer, Seán Holland, welcomed the production and roll-out of the App, saying, “The design is impressive.
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Go For It March 2017“While I welcome the training, support and advice it provides to foster carers in how to keep children safe in an on-line world, one of its key strengths is the guidance and advice it provides on the language required to aid discussion and engagement with children and young people – in other words, to be able to talk their language.
  “I am hopeful that foster carers will be find it useful, will be empowered by it and that children will be kept safer on-line as a result of it,” he added. HSC Trust manager, Brendan Whittle commented, “We know that for our foster carers, looking after young people, especially teenagers, isn’t always easy and it may sometimes be unclear where to turn for advice, especially concerning online safety issues.
  “That’s why the ‘Fostering in a Digital World’ App has been created. It allows foster carers to access Trust procedures at a click of a button on their mobile phone or tablet, for reassurance and advice. It has already proven a vital resource and counts as a training tool for HSC foster carers, who can self-test regularly and a digital certificate is issued on completion of the test.” The App, which was developed with a group of foster carers and professionals, allows for direct communication from each of the five Health and Social Care Trust’s Fostering Services with their foster carers. Foster carers also have direct access to INEQE staff who will provide updates on new technologies and platforms.
  Kathy Cumming, who fosters for her local HSC Trust said, “Within the first ten minutes of using the App, I already learned several things that I didn’t know before. I now use it on a daily basis to stay up-to-date with the technologies that young people are growing up with. “Because of the learning within the App and knowing advice is only ever one click away on my mobile phone, I feel much more confident now in keeping young people that I care for safe online,” Kathy added. Any member of the public can access the public side of the App if they are interested in finding out more about fostering. They will be able to access information and be directed to the Regional Fostering and Adoption Service website.
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25th March 2017 Box AdvertFor more information or to find out more about becoming a foster carer for your local Health and Social Care Trust, visit or call 0800 0720 137.
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